14-storey tower set to dominate Qormi entrance

Environment and Resources Authority exempts project from EIA studies

The proposed development, which includes a showroom and 13,746sq.m of offices, is described as a “state of the art office block”
The proposed development, which includes a showroom and 13,746sq.m of offices, is described as a “state of the art office block”

Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli has presented plans and artistic impressions for a proposed 14-storey high tower on a triangular plot of land formerly consisted of agricultural land, near the Centerparc shopping mall and Maltapost.

Details of the application are still not accessible on the Planning Authority’s website but a project development statement prepared by Portelli’s architects has now been published on the Environment and Resources Authority’s website.

A screening report by the ERA exempts the project from an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

The tower, described as a “medium rise” development, is being a proposed on a site with a building height limitation of three floors plus semi-basement and is located in an area characterised by a  mix of industrial, retail and residential development.

Qormi was not included in the areas designated either for high-rise development in the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) policy, namely Mriehel, Tigné, Marsa, Gzira and Paceville.

Half of the site will be kept as an open space
Half of the site will be kept as an open space

Although the development is described as a medium-rise development, the current policy regulating high-rise developments refers to any building above 10 floors as a high-rise. But the FAR policy can be applied in other localities to allow building heights higher than that foreseen in the local plan, but lower than 10 floors.

The proposed development, which includes a showroom and 13,746sq.m of offices, is described as a “state of the art office block”.

Half of the site will be kept as an open space. The 1,373sq.m of open spaces are distributed around the site’s perimeter and not as a central plaza. An existing farmhouse will be restored and retained.

The increase in daily traffic by 750 car trips is not deemed to have any significant impact on air quality by ERA. The development, which will include 189 parking spaces in three basement levels, will cater for 480 office employees. A ‘green travel plan’ is also being drafted to minimise the traffic impact.

The absence of an EIA means that the social impact of the project on the locality will not be assessed if such a study is not demanded by the PA.

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