Earlier today, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority Board approved for Ministerial endorsement the Fort St. Elmo Development Brief. This brief seeks to give design and development parameters for the Fort St. Elmo and the surrounding area. It also sets out the various parameters and environmentally compatible strategies that aim to utilise the potential of the area without compromising its unique historical value.
Cultural facilities are given the pride of place in the designation of the land-uses in the brief. These include a heritage trail and the re-creation of the Physic garden which, in the time of the Knights was used to cultivate medicinal herbs for use in the Sacra Infermeria. Other land uses include the educational, recreational commercial, touristic and offices.
In a separate application, the MEPA Board also approved the demolition of the structures abutting the Auberge D’Italie and the excavation of the backstage facilities. This permit includes also the re-use of Casa Cassar. The application was discussed in detail with special reference to the possible effects of the excavations on the nearby Churches and the issue of the demolition of the Police Station.
The MEPA Board decided that the constant monitoring by experts was sufficient to ensure that the integrity of the structures and artefacts are kept intact. With regards to the demolition of the Police Station, this was covered by permit, but the CMP was not yet approved. The Board resolved to send the Enforcement officers to see if there was a breach of condition and, if so, to quantify the extent. This would be discussed at a later sitting. The MEPA Board declared that it will not accept any breaches or illegalities.
During the sitting, the MEPA Board also approved an outline development permit for a rabbit farm in Qormi. The Authority also withdrew proceedings to modify 3 permits in Tower Road Sliema. This decision was taken on the basis of a decision by the General Services Board that the developments are sanitary compliant.