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Tall building policy, new open spaces, proposed for Paceville in new masterplan

A render of the proposed project.

A render of the proposed project.

A holistic planning strategy which includes the revamp of open spaces and the creation of new ones, better traffic management and a tall-building policy are the main elements of a masterplan for Paceville  unveiled for public consultation today.

The plan, which requires a financial outlay of about €300 million proposes the location of a cluster of high-rise buildings in descending order, with the lowest ones being nearer to the coast and the highest one in the heart of Paceville.

Separate from the masterplan, Transport Malta has commissioned the construction of the Regional Road tunnel which is expected to divert as much as 60 per cent of traffic from the Paceville area.

Details about this plan were given during a news conference this afternoon. During the conference, representatives of Mott Macdonald and Broadway Malyan - who were commissioned to prepare the plan by the Planning Authority - gave a detailed presentation.

According to the proposal the masterplan could start to be implemented next year, with the tunnel in place by 2021. The study, which is also proposing a continuous footpath along the coast, also looks into the investment needed to upgrade utility services and waste management issues.

Planning Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri said the area was crying for a facelift. She lauded the plan as a holistic one which took into consideration plans already in the pipeline for tall buildings, as well as public interest through embellishment projects and new open spaces.

She insisted that a number of massive high-rise projects, in the pipeline at St George’s Bay, would be subject to the policies of this masterplan.

Asked about the financing of the project, PA chairman Johann Buttigieg said that government was seeking EU funding while also raising funds through development applications in the area. He noted that an existing €0.5 million capping for the submission of applications would be removed. However, Mr Buttigieg was not in a position to say the percentage of the cost tax payers would be forking out.

Feasibility and timelines depended on interest from the private sector, he added.

Once finalised, the plan will be scrutinised by Parliament. The public consultation period will be six weeks long. Feedback can be sent to [email protected] .

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