Application for hotel, apartments at Smart City to go before PA Board on Thursday

Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 August, 2023 at 2:55 pm by Andre Camilleri

An application that would see the construction of a hotel and apartments in Smart City, Kalkara, is set to go before the PA Board on Thursday.

This application for outline development permission proposes the development of plots two plots at the Smart City Malta complex in Kalkara. The proposal involves the amalgamation of the two plots for the construction of a hotel with ancillary facilities having 11 floors above ground, and two underlying car parking levels. The proposal also includes a residential development (95-128 units) as well as two floors of underlying parking, the case officer’s report reads.

An Outline Development Application seeks to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development is acceptable in principle to the Authority. Subsequent to receiving this planning permission an applicant will require a full development permit to actually carry out the project.

The report reads that the proposed residential component shall include an 11-storey building and is anticipated to include a mix of dwelling units including one, two and three bedroom apartments. “The residential component shall also include a separate low-lying building comprising of two-storey units with terraces fronting the promenade.” In terms of density, documents read that the “expected number of residential units would be in the range of 95-128 depending on the Gross Floor Area (GFA)… the mix which will eventually be selected for the final design”.

“The entrance of the residential block is proposed via a landscaped area piazza and the residential portion of the development shall be totally independent from the hotel component. The residential development will also include two levels of underground parking.”

The hotel component, the report reads, would also have two levels of underground parking, and also include an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge and bar, a spa which includes an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor pool, pool bar and grill, a ballroom/conference hall, among other things.

“The site in question occupies a site area of 15,200 sqm and is located along the eastern part of the Smart City complex, abutting the laguna to the west.”

“The site is currently a carpark and is accessed through an internal road off Triq Santu Rokku and the promenade. Once the whole network of Smart City will be completed the site will also be accessible throughout a ring road.

The Development Management Directorate noted that, following assessment of the photomontages and axonometrics, “the proposal does not exceed the building intensity of 37500 sqm for plots P5 and P6 approved in permit PA 1997/08 (the original outline permission for an ICT city), albeit with a revised configuration and an increased maximum building height limitation of 0.2m. In this regard the proposed changes are not envisaged to lead to significant additional impacts on the visual amenity of the surrounding environment, over and above those permitted.”

The proposed drawings indicate that the GFA of the proposed development comprising of the hotel and residential components shall altogether have a total GFA of 37,500 sqm, it read.

“Following indications of GFA for the hotel and residential components given in the Project Description Report and following discussions with the applicant/architect, the hotel component shall make up 21,000 square metres of this amount, and the residential component shall make up 16,500 square metres of this amount. The residential component may not exceed under any circumstance 16,500 square metres and the hotel component may not fall below 20,000 square metres.”

The Planning Directorate noted that demographical trends over the last twenty years have led to changes in the objectives and approach to the original concept of Smart City Malta as an ICT city. “Requirements for specific land uses have varied over this period, inevitably leading to the need for transfer of GFA relating to residential use, rather than office use. When considering the development carried out to date together with that proposed (37,500 sqm) within Smart City, the cumulative area remains well below the 313,230 square metres approved in principle in the outline permit (the approved and proposed development amount to circa 46% of the overall Smart City GFA). Hence there is no particular contention on the proposed GFA, albeit that its addition would be considered from the aspects of design parameters, cultural heritage and pedestrian and vehicular movement.”

In  terms of the proposed height of this specific application, the case officer’s report notes that the maximum height limitation across plots P5 and P6 is proposed to increase by 0.2m from what had been approved in the 2008 master plan for Smart City. As for the visual impact, the report states that the taller buildings proposed for this plot have been pushed back, away from the foreshore and closer to the existing building of similar height.

The outline permit application has been recommended for approval.

- Advertisement -