Villa Gollcher gardens in Mosta touted for development of car park

Green enclave inside historical villa and garden in promise-of-sale agreement for development of car park

The 13,000 sq.m Mosta garden is presently full of citrus trees and is arguably protected from development by the local plan as a “green enclave”
The 13,000 sq.m Mosta garden is presently full of citrus trees and is arguably protected from development by the local plan as a “green enclave”

The extensive garden grounds of Villa Gollcher are being touted as a possible site for the development of a car park in Mosta.

Writing in his blog, Green Party (AD) chairperson and MEP candidate Carmel Cacopardo revealed that a promise of sale agreement had been recently signed between the site owners and a developer.  

The promise of sale agreement is subject to the condition of the issuance of a development permit for a large-scale development. 

“Millions of euro are at stake and we all know that money talks,” the Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson wrote. 

Over the past days MaltaToday received similar reports about development plans on the 13,000 sq.m Mosta garden, which is presently full of citrus trees. The site is protected from development by the local plan as a “green enclave” even if the historical villa and garden have not been granted heritage protection. 

The development of an underground carpark would require the excavation of the site which includes a large number of trees. Existing local plan policies expressly forbid development proposals that create new residential units, including garages for the parking of vehicles in these open space enclaves.

In its local council manifesto for Mosta the Labour Party is committed to work with the central government to develop “a public underground car park” in a “central location” in the locality. No reference is made to any particular site.

The central government had originally intended to develop an underground carpark near the Mosta Rotunda accompanied by open spaces around the church instead of the surface car park. Two bids were presented for this project which was spearheaded by Projects Malta.

But the project was met by strong opposition from the parish church which expressed fears over excavation works so close to the historical church.

In its manifesto the Labour Party remains committed to transforming the area around the church in to recreational open space and refers to identify an area in the centre of the locality to develop a new bigger “civic centre”. 
Apart from the area around the church the only extensive area right in the centre of Mosta which remains undeveloped is the extensive garden of Villa Gollcher. 

More in Townscapes