A review is underway of the Grand Harbour and South Malta with particular focus on the Marsa Sports Centre, the horse racing track and their environs to take on board Government’s plans to consolidate and rationalise sports facilities in the Maltese Islands.
The revisions, that are currently open for a 6-week public consultation exercise, will provide a development framework to guide the detailed environment and development planning brief and will seek to upgrade the horseracing track to accommodate international, with additional international standard equestrian facilities for other disciplines, such as show jumping and dressage.
Government’s plans to consolidate and rationalise sports facilities in the Maltese Islands, with particular focus on the Marsa Sports Centre and the Horse Racing track and their environs are to be taken into account when the Grand Harbour Local Plan and the South Malta Local Plan are to be reviewed. The Grand Harbour Local Plan (GHLP) was first approved in 2002, and the South Malta Local Plan (SMLP), was approved in 2006.
The thrust of this scheme was to take forward Government's strategic plans for the consolidation and rationalisation of sports facilities in the Maltese Islands. The site indicated by Government for this project encroached into the area of the South Malta Local Plan which necessitated a review of this Local Plan as well.
The revisions will provide a development framework to guide the drafting of a detailed environment and development planning brief, which should seek to upgrade the horseracing track to accommodate international flat and trotter races with additional international standard equestrian facilities for other disciplines, including such as show jumping and dressage.
In addition to this, the brief should also include the upgrade all the existing sports facilities, add new facilities and extend the golf course towards the site currently occupied by the Government farm at Ghammieri in order to promote the international dimension of this sport.
But sports facilities are not the only initiative that will be included. Limited, yet high quality commercial and tourism-related development that integrates with the site will also be considered in order to sustain the economic viability of the sports facilities. The revisions also provide guidance on development densities, transportation, urban design, environmental sustainability and utilities, while a public picnic area will also be included as a requirement on the brief.
The implementation of these proposals will undoubtedly have an impact on other provisions in the two Local Plans, which required amendments to policies on transport and the environment an also needed development guidance for the area north of the horse racing track and the Marsa Park area, which is located to the north east of the horse racing track. The designations of the land forming part of the Ghammieri complex also need to be revised to facilitate the extension of the golf course.
Following the approval of the revisions to the Local Plans and the conclusion of the developers selection process, the selected developer will prepare an Environment and Development Brief for the site, within the approved policy framework. This Brief will set out more detailed and more site specific development proposals which document will also be approved by Government.”
The public is being invited to submit their comments on the reviewed local planning policies by not later than 09th December 2010 through email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reviewed changes can be viewed on the Mepa website http://www.mepa.org.mt/public-consultation