Changes are being proposed for a site at Ta’ Qali which is currently zoned as industrial and is adjacent to the Malta National Park.

The amended policy is proposing that the site, which is accessed directly from Vjal L-Istadjum Nazzjonali and Triq L-Idwart, will only allow land uses related to supermarkets, medical clinics, educational facilities, offices, retail outlets, storage/distribution facilities and food and drink outlets.

The Planning Authority said in a statement that the main aim behind the partial review was to designate the site, characterised by mixed uses, as a “quality commercial destination” through sustainable architectural and urban design with adequate infrastructure provision.

The new commercial area will mitigate against the negative impact its current uses were having on the character of the surrounding area, particularly the formal and informal recreational area, the PA said.

The proposed policy stipulates that any new development on the perimeter of the site area facing the outside development zone shall have a façade height of up to eight metres, while development on the perimeter of the site facing the American Embassy and the carpark shall have a facade height of up to 11 metres.

The overall height for all the site shall be subject to a Visual Impact Assessment on views to and from the Mdina promontory, the area of high landscape value and the embassy site. Mitigation measures identified might require limitations on the allowable heights of buildings.

The introduction of green infrastructure measures, such as the use of sustainable building materials, a design which allows for passive environmental control and the integration of carbon-reduction measures would be favourably considered.

A planning gain contribution of €25 per square metre of new gross developable floor space permitted within the site is also being proposed. The funds generated from this planning gain would be directed towards the upgrading of recreational facilities and other environmental initiatives within the Ta’ Qali National Park.

Interested parties may download the proposed amended policy framework from the Planning Authority’s website

Representations on the proposed review are to be made in writing and sent by e-mail to nwlp.taqali@pa.org.mt. Submissions are to reach the authority by October 25.