PA puts forward rezoning proposal for Marsa Sports Complex suggesting tourist accommodation

Planning Authority

The Planning Authority has suggested the allowing for the development of tourist accommodation and offices alongside sports and recreational facilities at the Marsa sports club.

The Planning Authority has put forward a proposed policy review which covers an area of more than 700,000 squared metres and has divided Marsa sports complex site into four zones, proposing a maximum built footprint of not more than 60,000 squared metres.

The proposed amendments will bring about change in the site-specific planning policies of three local plans – that of the Grand Harbour, South Malta and Central Malta.

The public and interested stakeholders may submit their feedback on the proposed revised policy for the Marsa Sports Complex area either in writing or via email on ghlp@pa.org.mt.

The proposed policy document and maps are available on the Planning Authority’s website.

The proposal suggests that the primary facilities of Zone A will need to be associated with the following sport disciplines namely gymnastics, weightlifting, squash, athletics, football, handball, softball, rugby and both indoor and outdoor archery. A high-performance training centre with a multipurpose stadium and indoor pool will be encouraged. Ancillary land use facilities may include spectator stands, tourism accommodation, offices, clubhouses and food and drink outlets. Any buildings within this zone shall not exceeding 20m above sea level and need to be of high architectural design quality.

It also suggested that an area to the north of this zone which covers a 6,000 squared metres footprint as a public picnic area and is to include furniture conducive to the enjoyment of the area.

In Zone B, the land may primarily be used for international standard facilities related to horse racing (trotter and flat), equestrian sports (polo, show jumping, dressage), training areas and stables. Ancillary facilities within this zone may include a grandstand, clubhouses, assembly and leisure, food and drink outlets and betting shops. An area within this zone is being designated for secondary uses and may include commercial facilities.

Within this zone, it is being proposed that up to 9,000 squared metre is designated as a multi-storey car park and bus depot. The facades of any buildings within this area need to be screened off with vertical green wall and have appropriate maintenance agreements.

In Zone C, the land use must be related to golf facilities and a golf academy. Ancillary facilities may include clubhouses, offices and food and drink outlets.

The proposed land use in Zone D will be facilities related to the sport disciplines of tennis, squash and cricket. Ancillary facilities may be the same as for Zone C.

An area to the north-east of the site is to be reserved for the upgrading of the road network as part of the project to improve traffic flow along Triq Aldo Moro.

In a statement on Friday, the Planning Authority said that it was encouraging a strong element of green infrastructure to be incorporated into any upgrading or redevelopment of existing facilities.

Other suggestions put forward by the Planning Authority include amendments to the conditions that had been approved as part of a planning control application on a site which is adjacent to the Marsa horseracing track and which today have been developed with the Centreparc Shopping Mall. The Planning Authority will allow for the construction of two more floors in certain parts.

“All public opens spaces must remain safeguarded and effectively landscaped and maintained,” the Planning Authority said.

The deadline for feedback submission is 10 July 2020.