Plan­ning Au­thor­ity launches a new €300 mil­lion mas­ter­plan for Paceville

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

The Plan­ning Au­thor­ity yes­ter­day launched a con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment for the Devel­op­ment Frame­work of Paceville.

The mas­ter­plan looks into a num­ber of key is­sues which need to be ad­dressed. Pri­mar­ily, the plan aims to make ac­cess to the water­front eas­ier, St Ge­orge’s Beach more prom­i­nent and cre­ate new pub­lic spa­ces.

If it ma­te­ri­alises, the whole pro­ject could cost more than €300 mil­lion. The Mal­tese govern­ment, the EU and pri­vate in­vestors will be the ones fork­ing out the money.

Mott Mac­don­ald and Malyan Broad­way were en­trusted with set­ting up the frame­work. One thing which dom­i­nated the pre­sen­ta­tion was a pro­posed sky­line frame­work. Damien Price, a Mott Mac­don­ald rep­re­sen­ta­tive gave a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion in which he ex­plained how, for the sky­line frame­work to work, there needs to be a num­ber of high-rise build­ings.

An artis­tic im­pres­sion which was shown dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion was wel­comed with a sharp in­take of breath as the clut­tered sky­line dom­i­nated the view from Val­letta. Mr Price said that the sky­line frame­work should be built in a way which rep­re­sents the lev­el­ling in a val­ley high­est build­ings set in the cen­tre, and storeys de­crease as they are ap­proach­ing the coast.

The aim of the mas­ter­plan is to cel­e­brate ‘hid­den’ land­marks and ex­plore the hid­den views of the sea which sur­rounds Paceville area. The plan in­cludes the set­ting up of a new tun­nel to pass un­der­neath Re­gional Road, walk- and cy­cle­ways. It also ex­plores an in­creased use of sea trans­port. “No more one-off de­vel­op­ments, but an in­te­grated devel­op­ment which looks at the big­ger pic­ture,” Mr Price added.

Damien Price ex­plained that the plan comes in five stages, which in­clude the eval­u­a­tion of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, as­sess op­tions, data gath­er­ing, pre­ferred op­tion and con­sul­ta­tion.

He said that when one looks at the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of Paceville, one no­tices poor-qual­ity ar­rival points, aes­thetic is­sues and lack­ing in first im­pres­sions. He said dom­i­nance of traf­fic causes chal­lenges for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists. There­fore, one of the main aims is to have a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment which makes life for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists eas­ier.

“The plan aims to es­tab­lish a 5star-ho­tel des­ti­na­tion. En­hanc­ing trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and deal with is­sues of park­ing and traf­fic con­ges­tions. If these are im­proved, it will be a huge step for­ward.”

The plan in­cludes tra­di­tional pub­lic squares in the area, but he said there needs to be a sense of ar­rival and the need to cre­ate a high-qual­ity water­front walk way.

“We want Paceville to be a home to a suc­cess­ful, vi­brant and well-con­nected mix use,” Mr Price added.

The con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment looks at three plau­si­ble op­tions. One which em­pha­sises the use of pedes­trian and cy­cling trans­porta­tion, an­other which high­lights the use of ve­hic­u­lar trans­porta­tion and a third which is a bal­anced so­lu­tion, mix be­tween cars, cy­cling and a bet­ter pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in the area.

The pro­posed devel­op­ment can po­ten­tially sus­tain some 9,000 jobs, in­crease the pop­u­la­tion in the area and, if the devel­op­ment is im­ple­mented, the floor space will be in­creased from 785,000 square me­tres to 1.7 mil­lion square me­tres.

Apart from all this, as Mr Price ex­plained, one of the pos­i­tive ef­fects of the pro­ject will be the re­duc­tion of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. How­ever, the pro­ject is ex­pected to in­crease the prop­erty price in the area.

The first phase of the pro­posed pro­ject will start in 2017 and is ex­pected to go on un­til af­ter 2021.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Plan­ning Deb­o­rah Schem­bri said that Paceville se­ri­ously lacks a holis­tic plan. She said eco­nomic growth brings about big chal­lenges and that is why Malta should make sure that devel­op­ment walks had in hand with the proper plan­ning.

PA Chair­man, Jo­hann But­tigieg said that this frame­work is aimed at at­tract­ing the best ac­com­mo­da­tion in the area. He ex­plained that for the area to be good, there needs to be work, tourism, devel­op­ment and ac­tiv­ity.

Mr But­tigieg said that this is only the plan, and fur­ther stud­ies need to be car­ried out. The in­ter­ven­tion by the govern­ment and the PA was min­i­mal, he added.

Af­ter a six-week con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod, the mas­ter­plan will be tabled be­fore the House Com­mit­tee.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.