Jerma site in Marsaskala could see 40,000sq.m of residential development

The Planning Authority has published the objectives that will underpin a development brief for the ex-Jerma hotel site in Marsaskala

The ex-Jerma hotel site will get a development brief before individual applications for the dilapidated site can be considered
The ex-Jerma hotel site will get a development brief before individual applications for the dilapidated site can be considered

The Planning Authority is suggesting a brief that will limit development at the ex-Jerma hotel site to 100,000sq.m, of which 40% can be developed as residential apartments.

The rest of the site can be developed into hotel accommodation and tourism facilities.

The PA has now published the list of objectives for the development brief that will determine how the derelict hotel site can be used.

The government had asked the PA to prepare a development brief for the area.

The guidelines are suggesting that a maximum of 40,000sq.m should be allocated to residential development.

Other acceptable uses on the site include retail development and any “uses which the authority deems can contribute to the regeneration of this part of the urban coast”.

The present local plan, which regulates development on the Jerma site, states that the site should be “mainly used for tourist accommodation”.

However, “residential and commercial uses”, may be considered provided a development brief is approved, setting planning parameters for development in the area.

The list of objectives for the development brief limit the overall development density to a maximum gross floor area of 100,000sq.m, excluding spaces for car parks and services. Gross floor area includes the development carried out over a number of floors.

The area reserved for tourism accommodation cannot be “smaller, in terms of Gross Developable Floor space (GDF), than the ex-Jerma Palace Hotel”.

The brief will also set the maximum allowable building height in metres and the maximum allowable site coverage.

The brief has to include guidelines on the architectural treatment, road access, parking and landscaping requirements.

Any development has to ensure that public access to the foreshore is protected and enhanced and a planning gain contribution is made for the benefit of the Marsaskala community.

The development brief will ensure that planning parameters are set before the consideration of individual applications on the Jerma site.

Current development application

The PA is currently considering an application proposing a high-rise development consisting of 166 apartments and a 250-room hotel.

The development statement was presented on behalf of Porto Notos Ltd, a company owned by developer Charles Camilleri, known as il-Franċiż, and Pierre Lofaro.

The proposed project which includes a floor space of 90,000sq.m includes a high-rise building which will include residential units spread over 13 floors and a hotel which will rise to 15 floors.

A basement level will include a carpark with 370 spaces and 238 garages, lido facilities, a chapel and a commercial establishment.

In July, MaltaToday had reported that a group of investors fronted by Gozitan entrepreneur Joseph Portelli was in the process of buying the Jerma hotel site for a reported €90 million.

The objectives of the brief will have to be issued for a six-week consultation period.  Following that the PA will issue a draft policy which will also be issued for another public consultation.

The site is subject to an enforcement order aimed at removing the eye sore and the danger posed by the dilapidated hotel.

In June, the court gave the Montebello brothers 30 days to provide the Planning Authority with a method statement on how they intend to restore the site.

No method statement had been submitted by the end of the deadline and the PA had to consider how to proceed. It remains unclear how the authority will act on the enforcement order in the wake of the court ruling being ignored.

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