A massive shopping centre that will take up as much as two football fields worth of land has been proposed in Għaxaq ODZ. 

The application, PA/02725/20, was proposed by Anton Schembri of Barbros Group and seeks to replace the existing batching plant and garage complex that surround the Lidl on Tal-Barrani Road.

The area is outside of the development zone. 

The sprawling complex will see the gross floor area of the built sections of the site double, with the existing buildings occupying some 7,149 square metres of the plot.

At its largest, plans show that the shopping centre will occupy some 14,220 square metres of the 35,767 square metre site, roughly equivalent to two football pitches.

The complex is expected to be split over two subterranean levels and three above-ground floors which will host a variety of retail outlets, food and beverage outlets and a gymnasium. 

The plans also indicate that a roundabout is set to be built to accommodate the supermarket and the traffic its business is expected to generate.

The roundabout appears to be placed directly onto Tal-Barrani Road and would feed directly into the shopping centre as well as 25th November Road on the opposite end. 

The application has received a handful of objections, principally opposing the scale of the development. Concerns were also raised over how the economic activity of the shopping centre will increase traffic on an already busy road. 

Plans show that the inclusion of a new roundabout on Tal-Barrani Road are envisaged within the shopping complex. Photo: JG Periti via Planning AuthorityPlans show that the inclusion of a new roundabout on Tal-Barrani Road are envisaged within the shopping complex. Photo: JG Periti via Planning Authority

Għaxaq local council urges fireworks' exception 

The Għaxaq local council found no objection to the application but asked that one of the conditions in the permit be that when activities that include fireworks are held in the village, the parking area behind the building is not made use of for safety reasons. 

The Żejtun local council said that while it is in favour of such projects in principle due to the economic prosperity it is envisaged to bring to the locality, the negative impacts of heavy traffic and air pollution could not be ignored. 

It suggested that the developers should take on counterinitiatives such as implementing a pedestrianisation project within the town centre. This, they said, would “reasonably compensate” for the adverse effects of this large-scale development. 

The outline development application is still being assessed by the Planning Authority and has yet to receive a formal recommendation from the Planning Directorate.

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