Assault on Naxxar: 675 new apartments seek green light

Former Trade Fair grounds now have three separate projects seeking planning approval

Together the three developments, which have yet to be approved, would result in the construction of 675 apartments
Together the three developments, which have yet to be approved, would result in the construction of 675 apartments

The area formerly occupied by the Trade Fair grounds of Naxxar is now subject to three individual projects that will see 675 apartments added to the town.

A new development promoted by Charles Camilleri – whose interests included the Mistra Ridge project and the Jerma Palace development – will bring 64 apartments and seven penthouses in a five-floor building on a field by Pjazza Celsi.

Camilleri owns the 3,361sq.m site, which is located right outside Naxxar’s urban conservation area where development is limited to just two and three storeys.

A further 491 apartments have already been proposed on the Trade Fair grounds owned by Sciclunas’ Estates, the holding company belonging to the heirs of the Marquis John Scicluna, who run the Palazzo Parisio home and gardens.

The plans originally included towers rising to nine storeys, with conference areas and a 1,400sq.m supermarket, and a car park for 1,100 vehicles, raising public concerns over traffic problems in the area. Indeed, the development is likely to generate 2,635 daily car trips to and from the new development. Naxxar is already served by a supermarket inside the village, and is located within driving distance of three others in Mosta and Birkirkara.

Yet another application is an eight-storey tower for 113 apartments proposed by SPTT Properties on the nearby trade fair carpark. The company was formed in 2018 by various commercial groups: they include Dutch business group Wygron Beheer, Malta property group Belair – one of the driving forces behind Gzira’s 17 East high-rise, hotelier Ian Decesare’s Sonnet Inv, Ab Initio Limited, JND properties, L.A. Developments, J&J Holdings, IN Space, as well as other independent property owners and also legal consultants.

Together the three developments, which have yet to be approved, would result in the construction of 675 apartments.

The local plan approved in 2006 states that the area where the 71 apartments are being proposed can be developed as housing units. Previously this site had been designated as a “white area”, where no development could take place. In 2017 the Planning Authority approved development parameters for the site, setting a building height limitation of 17.5m and removing the obligation set in the local plan to develop the area in a comprehensive way, paving the way for separate applications on different plots.

On that occasion the Naxxar local council had objected, noting that a height of 17.5m was not appropriate in close vicinity to the urban conservation area.

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