The Malta Environment and Planning Authority approved the construction of a compound in Ta' Qali which is to house the Embassy of the United States of America. The site in which the diplomatic compound is to be built was previously a large factory and the approval is considered by the Authority as a re-development of the site as designated by the Ta' Qali Action Plan 2006.
The approved plans include residential and leisure quarters for embassy staff and offices occupying about 12% of the total site. The rest of the site is to be landscaped and the buildings are to be low-lying to minimise visual impact. All the requirements by the Ta' Qali Action Plan 2006 were addressed including adequate access and off-street parking and storm water management. The Embassy informed the Authority that bilateral discussions are underway to fund an embellishment project in the Ta' Qali recreational park area.
Through another application approved by MEPA Board, a petrol station currently in Floriana has been relocated to Buqana, limits of Rabat. This relocation was recommended for approval by the Planning Directorate based on the current strategy to phase out all kerb-side pumps, due to safety and traffic management issues, and replace them all with the drive-in type of petrol stations. The new location for the service station enables it to be constructed in line with EU regulations and local legislation which determine the standards to which such stations are to be constructed. An alternative site assessment was carried out to ensure that this was the best location for the approved application. Extensive consultations with, among others, the Malta Resources Authority, the Department of Public Health and the Civil Protection Department were carried out and the points raised by various objectors were taken into consideration and mitigation measures and appropriate permit conditions were imposed on the applicant. A planning gain of Lm2,500 was levied for environmental improvement.
Two other applications were approved during the same sitting.
PA 1862/07 approved the construction of garages and residences in Swieqi. The site in question forms part of a larger area which was designated according to the Local Plan as a terraced house area with a height limitation of three floors plus semi-basement and penthouse. The layout of the proposal as submitted was recommended for approval by the Planning Directorate as it considered the proposed redevelopment of the site in question would not result in high density development. Before the North Harbour Local Plan was enacted, residential areas in Swieqi were being developed in a manner that was excessively dense to the detriment of the quality of life of the residents. The approved development is considered to respect the intention of the NHLP Policy to decrease density.
A full development application, PA 2631/06, located at Maghtab, was approved. This application requested the construction of a feed mill store, broiler unit, manure clamp and cesspit and the sanctioning of a residence, the sanctioning of an extension to the approved broiler unit and to change the use of approved cold stores to an administration office. The site in question houses and operational poultry farm, and the proposed works will serve to accommodate for the increase in the number of heads on this site and to provide for the waste management requirements on this site according to EU Standards.
Mepa Board also approved to recommend to the Minister that the de-scheduling of 4 minor Military Buildings of the British Period are de-scheduled in view of a school which is designated to be built in the area by the Foundation for Tomorrow's Schools. Two of the buildings are to be demolished, whilst another two although de-scheduled are to be restored and used by the school or as community facilities for the Pembroke area.