NEW GOVERNMENT SCHOOL GETS GREEN LIGHT
The MEPA Board approved planning permission for the construction a new government secondary school on a site occupied by the disused Swatar Training Centre on the periphery of Rabat. The new school which will cater for approximately 500 students will include a foyer, 30 classrooms, 10 laboratories, a library and workshops, a hall, administration rooms and a gym and changing rooms. The school will also have an underground car park to cater for 81 car parking spaces.
The Board also gave the green light for the construction of a multi-storey, mixed-use commercial and residential development in the locality of Gzira. The site, which is a fully detached triangular-shaped plot of land fronting Triq il-Gżira, Triq il-Rebħa and Triq Tas-Sliema and which housed the former United Garage building, qualifies for the development of a tall building through the principles of the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), which policy was revised and approved in May 2014.
Through this new revised FAR policy, besides considering the strategic appropriate locations for tall buildings and other important critera, the policy ensures the appropriate identification of urban settings and promotion of a high quality sustainable design. The 16 storey building will include three basement parking levels accommodating 125 car parking spaces, 695m2 of landscaped public open space, a cafeteria, overlying office space and 10 residential units. The Board imposed a planning gain of nearly €30,000 for the Gzira Local Council to use in environmental and urban improvement projects, traffic management, green transport and similar projects.
An Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit was granted by the MEPA Board for Sant’Antnin Waste Treatment Plant in Marsaskala. Through this permit, WasteServ, who is the operator of the Plant is obliged to use the best available techniques for preventing or, where that is not practicable, reducing emissions from their installation.
The Board also approved a revised Planning Policy for the Ta’ Masrija area in Mellieha. Through this approved policy, which is still subject to Ministrial approval, the Authority is seeking the regeneration of a large site located on the southern perimeter of the main urban settlement of Mellieha which currently lies derelict and is a scar on both the urban and rural environment. The site has three predominant characteristics – a large disused, hard stone quarry to the west, another disused older quarry to the east and a rock outcrop separating the two.
This policy review was initiated after in the past years the various site owners failed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive plan as requested in the 2006 Planning Policy for Ta` Masrija.
While retaining the framework as established in the 2006 policy, this planning policy is formulating a master-plan for the site area, through which the need for a comprehensive plan by the land owners and the adaptation of the Floor Area Ratio for the site is being eliminated.
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