Five-storey complex on archeologically sensitive site gets PA green light

The Planning Authority has approved the construction of a five-floor, 99-apartment complex on the archeologically sensitive site of Tal-Qares in Mosta

The Planning Authority has approved the construction of a five-floor, 99-apartment complex on the archeologically sensitive site of Tal-Qares in Mosta, a few metres away from St Andrew’s Chapel.

The PA received over 500 objections to the development.

The site proposed for development by Attard Developments Ltd was formerly outside development zones (ODZ), but was included in development boundaries in 2006, subject to an archeological investigation, which was duly carried out in 2013.  

The archaeological site of Tal-Qares temples in Mosta, dates to the Bronze Age, and includes a collection of pottery, a network of vine trenches, ancient quarries, water cisterns and water management systems and a large wall.

St Andrews Chapel stands right next to the site
St Andrews Chapel stands right next to the site

In 2017 the PA approved a showroom on a neighbouring site despite concerns on possible archeological remains on the site.

To avoid damage to the archaeology, no rock-cutting will be carried out and two pockets of land have been delineated as ‘Green Open Spaces’.

The new development will include a visitor’s centre and a viewer’s platform for the public to view archaeological remains discovered in the area. In view of these measures the development was given the blessing of the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage.  

But the development also means that the landscape in which the development will take place will be drastically changed.

The Maltese Archdiocese had objected to the development, warning that the Chapel of St Andrew will be engulfed by the proposed five-floor structure. “The chapel is situated just three meters away from the proposed development. The sheer scale of the proposed development will disrupt and out-scale the chapel.”

It also described the scale of the proposed building is completely alien to the immediate vicinity it is situated in, the streetscape and the neighborhood.

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