The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) Board yesterday approved the development of a new fish market and auxiliary parking facilities in Albert Town within Marsa Industrial Estate.
This new fish market, which will replace the existing Pixkerija in Valletta, will be built on two floors with the upper floor dedicated to the processing and packaging of fish, together with office space while the ground floor will primarily accommodate storage and retail facilities. The site, which is within the Marsa Industrial Estate, will include the demolition of a number of disused buildings, including the Reverse Osmosis Plant.
The project was given the full clearance by the Agriculture and Fisheries Division, which is the competent authority on veterinary regulations and the control and conservation of fisheries. The Director General responsible for this Division during the public meeting confirmed that the operations of various facilities including the civil abattoir, Cold Stores facilities and the new fish market within the area are not incompatible or against local or European Legislation.
The final phase of the Pender Place Project was also given the green light by the Mepa Board. This approved application gives planning permission for the construction of new commercial and office facilities with an underground car park together with restoration works to Mercury House and the Cold War rooms. Through this application, the Board is permitting the transfer of floor space from the residential blocks of the Pender Place area to the Mercury House site. This shifting of floor space, not only guarantees a better quality residential development within Pender Place with more open spaces, but also reduces the development impact on the neighbouring residences, resulting in an overall better project.
The MEPA Board also pproved a full development application for the construction of a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) park on the site of an ex-batching plant area and a disturbed field in Ghaxaq. This park is one of the six SME parks identified by the Authority in the SME subject plan which was approved in July 2004. As part of the permit conditions, the Authority imposed that a water cistern with a volume in cubic metres of 110% of the total roof area of the building shall be constructed to store rainwater run-off as a water conservation measure. The Authority, obliged the applicant, to pay a planning gain of €8,640 and that prior to commencing of operations, the industrial park needs to be covered by an environmental operational permit.
The Board also approved the dismantling and reconstruction of the surviving part of the banquette at the side of the Main Gate leading into Valletta. The banquette which consists of a raised platform, used to serve for the firing of small weapons.