80,000 square metre agri-tourism village proposed off Marsaskala

Agri-tourism guesthouses, conference centre and swimming pool proposed for Munxar fodder fields

Whole site on which the Malta South-End Agro-tourism project will be situated.
Whole site on which the Malta South-End Agro-tourism project will be situated.
The Munxar area in Marascala
The Munxar area in Marascala

An agri-tourism project is being proposed on land at the Munxar area of Marsaskala, that will also provide boat trips to coastline cruises, a beach club service and ancillary pool “to serve to an alternative to the beaches when needed located next to the agro-tourism accommodation.”

Billed as a place for “a fulfilling holiday in the Mediterranean environment while on an agricultural farm”, the project will include guest rooms, a fully equipped restaurant, an “agro-food facility” to be used for lecturing and hands-on experiences, a fully equipped conference centre for multi-purpose events, a farm retail outlet with display area, activity rooms, greenhouses, an animal farm, and bird-watching facility. There will also be a fitness centre, beauty saloon, and a wine bar.

The site covers an area of 80,000 square metres: the outer part to the seashore is scheduled as a Level 2 Area of Scientific Importance while the inner part is Level 3 Area of Scientific Importance.

The entire land, currently used for fodder, will continue to be used for agricultural purpose but other crops instead of fodder would be cultivated. Two floors underneath the agro-tourism lodging facility will be excavated “instead of building scattered buildings... much more efficient and sustainable.”

The proponent is Rennie Scicluna, a key contractor in various projects such as state schools, the Corradino Corrective Facility, the Bugibba water park, and the President’s kitchen garden. Scicluna also constructed the Malta Falconry Centre in Siggiewi. Scicluna is also a registered farmer.

“The South-End Agro-Tourism project is aimed to give the opportunity to the niche market of tourism to explore and enjoy Maltese agriculture by exhibiting it on a daily basis and make it touristic friendly and available. This can only be achieved by giving a hands-on experience to the end users, have them directly on the field to feel the soil under their feet and the crops in their hands.  It is this way that people appreciate what they eat, by knowing where these come from and experiencing it first-hand.”

According to Scicluna’s project description statement, the fields he owns are already being used for crop farming activates along with hunting and trapping uses. The coastal area is also already being frequently sought for swimming and summer boating purposes.

“Insofar as an environmental characteristic of the agricultural land is concerned, the site is a typical Maltese agricultural land, containing three small plots. The soil depth is less than two feet in its average, containing mainly silty-sandy soil. The plots are terraced on three levels with rubble walls. Having a lack of water supply at the site makes it only viable to be cultivated by winter crops such as fodder crops,” the PDS states.

Currently the site has no access to the main water network, and has three underground bell-shaped water wells, holding 20 cubic metres each, which are filled with rainwater runoff. An application to extend the foul water network to the areas where it is already functioning, the St Thomas Bay boathouses, is pending.

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