The Planning Authority has issued a permit for the Lidl supermarket chain to expand its operations, this time on the outskirts of Żebbuġ, after it was satisfied with changes to the designs to reduce the take-up of land outside the development zone.

The site currently occupied by SMW Cortis near St Dorothy’s School, had been recommended for approval by the Planning Authority’s case officer despite the numerous objections, including by the local council. 

Submitted by Joseph Cortis on behalf of Central Business Centres, the project will involve the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a Lidl supermarket with ground-level parking for 252 vehicles.

A basement for the processing and distribution of timber products is also included in the plans.

The Planning Authority had last year suspended a decision on the application and instructed the applicant to address a number of issues including the reduction of ODZ land take up and to make the project more sensitive to its surroundings.  

When the planning board met to discuss the matter on Thursday, it noted that all the issues that had been raised were addressed by the applicant, including the removal of parking spaces which had been proposed parallel to the road from the roundabout leading to Attard.

This area will now be landscaped with trees and shrubs. Grass block pavers covering an approximate area of 1,400 square metres will add to the overall green effect of the project after they were included in the revised plans.

Mitħna ta’ Srina restoration

The PA said that the applicant added bicycle racks and car charging stations for visiting customers to opt for alternative means of transport.

The applicant also committed to the full restoration of the Grade 1 windmill, known as il-Mitħna ta’ Srina, including the reconstruction of its sails.

It said the board was also satisfied that the Traffic Impact Assessment got reviewed with all the necessary scientific studies, including new traffic counts, receiving the clearance of Transport Malta.

The project will include the demolition of an existing woodworking factory/showroom sited within a designated Area of Containment. Works will include the excavation for two basement levels to accommodate an underground car park and other mixed-use while a surface carpark and supermarket will be constructed at ground floor level.  

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