A proposed policy framework for the Pace Grasso Opportunity Area in Paola has been published by the planning  for public consultation.

Through this proposed partial review of the south Malta local plan (2006) and taking into account the government’s vision for the area, the authority is seeking to facilitate the development of a community centre in the core of the urban area with a priority for green public open spaces, the provision of facilities for health services and for persons with special needs together with supporting ancillary development.

Through the proposed revisions, the site with an approximate area of 20,000sqm is being divided into four distinct zones.

Zone A is being earmarked for health (3,000sqm - priority regional health centre), Zone B for social services (4,200sqm - priority centre for persons with special needs), Zone C for commercial activities (3,000sqm - priority retail, including supermarket) and Zone D for public open space (8,700sqm - priority landscaped areas and sports).

The predominant land-use in this proposal is the centrally located public open space which will provide a strategic green lung in this densely built-up area and will also be the integrating feature in the whole scheme.

The site specific policy also highlights the favourable consideration which will be given for the relocation of the Paola Health Centre to Zone A of the Pace Grasso site.

Underground space shall accommodate the development of the parking requirements for each development within Zones A, B and C, while within Zone D there shall be an underground public car park of at least 350 car spaces and allocation for the possible development of a link to the planned mass transit system, Mepa said.

The Pace Grasso site currently accommodates a garden, boċċi pitch, club house and a full sized, redundant, football pitch which is occasionally used for parking. The site is surrounded by a high boundary wall which creates a considerable adverse visual impact on the immediate residential area.

The draft planning policy together with the map and the submissions from the public on the objectives of the review may be viewed on the authority’s website. www.mepa.org.mt/public-consultation.

The public and interested parties should send comments, in writing, to the South Malta Local Plan policy up to June 12.

Comments should be addressed to the chief executive officer, revisions to the South Malta Local Plan (2015), Malta Environment and Planning Authority, St Francis Ravelin, Floriana CMR01, or on pacegrasso.smlp@mepa.org.mt .

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