Lidl wants to open supermarket in Zebbug

The supermarket chain is planning a new supermarket and underlying commercial development on the corner between Mdina Road and Attard Road

The site of the proposed supermarket
The site of the proposed supermarket

The discount supermarket Lidl is earmarking the existing SMW Cortis building in Zebbug for demolition, for the construction of a new supermarket and underlying commercial development on the corner between Mdina Road and Attard Road.

Plans foresee a basement and surface parking and underlying commercial and industrial development. 

The location is partly zoned as an ‘area of containment’ – an area meant to contain industrial developments located outside development zones (ODZ), meant to avoid their sprawl in the surrounding countryside. But the proposed development will extend into the surrounding ODZ to create parking spaces and provide road access for the new supermarket.

A permit issued in 2014 had specified that the new premises be only used for “storage and distribution purposes”, limiting a proposed retail shop to 58sq.m on ground floor level.

A scheduled windmill is located on the southern periphery of the site and is surrounded on three sides by the applicant’s property. A surface carpark accessed from Attard Road will be developed in the area behind the windmill. 

Lidl has already opened two ODZ stores in Luqa and Safi, both approved before the 2008 general elections. Other Lidl stores are situated in Sta Venera, San Gwann, Zejtun, and Qormi, and in Xewkija, a small part of which is also outside the development zones.

Another supermarket was approved instead of the Fort Blocks industrial complex in Mosta.

Lidl has recently applied to change local plans in Fgura to allow the approval of a supermarket on a former scrap yard zoned for a mix of recreational, residential and retail facilities.

An application to build a Lidl outlet on ODZ land by the bypass between San Gwann and Birkirkara has been withdrawn.

Current PA policies regulating retail development encourage the location of such developments in town centres to decrease the impact on traffic. But this policy has been largely disregarded.

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