The St Julian’s local council is proposing the embellishment of the chaotic Spinola Square, described by many, including the mayor, as “an eyesore”.
The project, discussed and approved by the council before being opened for public consultation, plans to create more open space and pedestrianise a substantial part of the square where double parking is the order of the day.
“We need to do something about that pjazza. It’s an eyesore and doing something about it is a must. So far, our ideas have been well-received by the public. We will be hearing people’s comments before preparing final plans with which to embark on the official permitting process with Transport Malta and the Planning Authority,” mayor Guido Dalli told Times of Malta when contacted on Friday.
He said the council had already filed the necessary applications to benefit from the PA’s Development Planning Fund, which promotes improvement and embellishment works in urban areas.
Covering an area of about 7,500 square metres, the project will pedestrianise large swathes of the square and will include the removal of the existing Sacred Heart roundabout. The statue will be moved a few metres and incorporated in the new pjazza.
The project will pedestrianise large swathes of the square
The statue of St Julian in front of the Saddles Pub will remain there.
In an attempt to address the flooding problem in the square, the pedestrianised area will be raised so rainwater culverts can pass underneath to channel rainwater into the sea. There will be a water feature in the new pedestrianised area.
An antique horse trough, lying derelict behind the bus stop, will be restored and incorporated in the water feature as well as a number of arches now used for rainwater runoff.
The council’s architect, Toni Bezzina, said the proposed project in one of the few remaining open areas in the locality would provide residents and visitors with a much-needed open space.
“Apart from the creation of an open space, the project will alleviate traffic congestion, upgrade public transport and cycling facilities while prioritising pedestrian accessibility,” he said.
“The use of proprietary materials like żonqor (hard stone), lava and porfido paving materials coupled with landscaping and water features aim to revive the character of the locality of St Julian’s,” he added.
A consultation meeting was held on Wednesday during which suggestions were put forward by residents and other stakeholders. The council said it planned to take these ideas and suggestions on board as much as possible.
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