NEWS | Sunday, 14 October 2007

19-storey tower proposed for Mistra

James Debono

The construction of four high-rise towers, one of them 19 storeys high, on the site of the former Mistra village will have an “adverse impact on landscape views” from Mistra Bay, an environmental planning statement said.
The EPS, submitted by ADI consultants on behalf of developers Gemxija Crown, warned that in certain conditions “wind speeds near some of the buildings within the scheme is likely to pose a pedestrian safety risk.”
The new project, which is expected to be financed by Kuwaiti property developers Massaleh, comprises of 1,000 residential units set on four towers ranging from 12 to 19 storeys, and 4,500 square metres of retail and catering outlets, and 2,202 underground parking spaces.
The local plan approved in 2006 limits development to 8 storeys but the developers are applying the Floor Area Ratio, a planning mechanism aimed at minimising the sprawl of the development by focusing on higher building.
According to the EPS the scheme will mostly result in a minor change to the landscape and views in the area. However, since the Bajda Ridge is designated as an Area of High Landscape Value, the scheme is considered to “detrimentally affect the landscape in a major way.”
“The changes to the views from most areas are of minor significance, however the changes from Mistra Bay are considered to be of major significance,” states the EPS.
In comments submitted to MEPA, Din l-Art Helwa warned that the development will dominate the skyline from St Paul’s Bay and the Pwales and Mistra valleys.

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