High-rise on Xghajra farm-land: Three blocks, fifteen storeys high

Three 15 storey tower blocks have proposed on farmland located just outside the site of the Smart City development in Xghajra

Next door to Smart City: as more residential development is given the green light at Smart City, once billed as a futuristic centre for internet-based players, more developers start seeing the opportunity of having their adjacent lands developed into high-rise apartment complexes with stunning views of the sea off Xghajra
Next door to Smart City: as more residential development is given the green light at Smart City, once billed as a futuristic centre for internet-based players, more developers start seeing the opportunity of having their adjacent lands developed into high-rise apartment complexes with stunning views of the sea off Xghajra

Three gigantic tower blocks that will rise up to 15 storeys are being proposed on farmland located just outside the site of the Smart City development in Xghajra.

The new development will overlook the sea on one side and Wied Glavan on the other, and is set to include 14 retail shops, 153 apartments and nine penthouses.

The application has been presented by Jason Mifsud, a shareholder in the Fanu Mifsud company of Mqabba, as well as Univest Enterprises and Four Site Operations.

A similar application for the development of 125 apartments and 21 penthouses had already been proposed in 2008, limiting the development to seven floors.

In the latest application, the development will have 210 garages on three basement levels, then 1,300sq.m of commercial space at ground floor and 1,200sq.m of retail space on the overlying two floors. The uppermost floor, which includes the penthouses, will be receded.

The site where the development is being proposed consists of 5,466sq.m of farmland between Dawret ix-Xatt and Triq Glavan.

Plans foreseeing the 15-storey development were presented last year, but the original application was later withdrawn.

Residential development had already been approved in an outline permit issued in 2004.

The application is still at a preliminary stage and the PA is currently screening the application to inform the developers whether it conforms to existing policies.

The area in question is identified for three-storey development and a semi-basement, which under current policies actually translates to four storeys and a penthouse.

The site could also be eligible for the floor area ratio mechanism which applies to sites of over 4,000sq.m that are surrounded by four roads – but this would require an extension of Triq Wied Glavan over the existing farmland.

Xghajra was not among the sites where tall buildings over 10-storey development can be allowed, but the PA has recently approved the 12-storey high Shoreline development within the confines of Smart City.

The proposed ITS campus included in Smart City is also set to include a 12-storey hotel.

The Environment and Resources Authority is also considering Xghajra as one of the sites for large-scale land reclamation.

An extensive area between St Julian’s and Xghajra has been earmarked for this purpose in a site selection study seen by MaltaToday.

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