PA gives go-ahead for 744 residential unit development on Mistra Village site

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 24 January 2019, 10:35 Last update: about 15 hours ago

The Planning Authority Board today approved an application for 744 residential units on the site of Mistra village.

The proposal read: “Renewal of previous permit – Redevelopment of Mistra Village – Construction of residential complex consisting of four blocks including supportive commercial activities with underlying basements for private parking. Development of public open spaces, landscaped gardens and communal pool”. The application had previously been approved back in 2013, however the development had not been constructed, hence this renewal application was filed.

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The applicant’s architect said that there were no changes made to the prior approved permit in this renewal application.

The case officer’s report reads that the decision on the original application was taken on 31 October 2013 and the decision notice is dated 9 January 2014 with a validity period of five years from the date of publication of the decision.

“Following the issuing of an outline development permit, a full development Permit was issued to detail the redevelopment of Mistra Village with a total floorspace of 134,600sqm including a residential complex (744 units), retail (1,800sq.m.) restaurants (990sq.m.), Offices (150sq.m.), Spa (1,900sq.m.), Pool Clubhouse (1,200sq.m) and 1,617 car parking spaces. A total footprint of 28,000sq.m is dedicated to open space with communal outdoor pool (430sq.m.),” the report read.

The public areas of the development, the architect explained, will include a restaurant zone, a retail plaza, and a kids plaza in addition to one more area. 

The site is known for its commitment as the former Corinthia Mistra Village Club Hotel which was developed during the 1980s and ceased operation in 2004. “The Mistra Village occupies an area of 42,179 square metres on the easternmost point of Bajada Ridge on the upper part of Xemxija Hill overlooking Dahlet il-Fekruna in St Paul’s Bay. The site slopes down to the arterial road having frontage on three roads, Triq Raddiet ir-Roti, Triq il-Fuhhar and Triq K. Vitale. From the highest level to the lowest level of the site, there is a difference in level of circa 20 meters,” the case officer’s report read.

“The proposal per se is not located within a Natura 2000 site, albeit 50m from Natura 2000 site,” the case officer’s report had read.

The Environment and Resources Authority notes that since the Environment and Impact Assessment was undertaken for the previous application, and no further studies were carried out that indicate that the circumstances of the case have changed. “In view of the above, concerns raised by the former EPD, particular on air quality and noise, remain and are being endorsed and reiterated by the Authority.”

In today’s board meeting, three of the nine members on the PA Board, including the ERA Chairman Victor Axiak and Timothy Gambin, voted against the application, highlighting that a development of this scale would not be allowed on a ridge under today’s policies.  PN representative Marthese Portelli also objected for the same reasons, as well as for traffic uncertainties. 

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