ITS Smart City campus given the green light by Planning Authority

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 August, 2022 at 2:39 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) will relocate to Smart City after the Planning Board approved planning permission for the development of a new hospitality campus to cater for local and foreign students.

The application, which was filed way back in 2016, was recommended for approval by the case officer, with the green light coming in Thursday’s board meeting.

The new campus will be built on a site located to the southwest of Smart City which has partly already been excavated and is close to the rural hamlet of San Rokku. The site occupies an area of 9,150 square metres and will be accessible throughout a ring road which planning application is currently being processed.

Besides classrooms, offices, a library with study rooms, a cafeteria and auditorium, the campus will include an indoor pool with spa, a wine cellar, three restaurants with related kitchens, food science laboratories, a bakery, student rooms and 5 incubation centres. The building will also have a childcare facility, ancillary shops and two levels of underground parking. A basketball court with related ancillary facilities will also be constructed.

During the public meeting, the architect highlighted that ITS intends to ensure that the campus building reaches near zero carbon footprint in line with EU directives.

“The overall contemporary design of the campus includes different architectural languages and elements that spatially articulate the building, providing different planes and dynamicity of the masses,” the PA said in a statement announcing that the application had been approved.

“The building, depending on the angle of vision from which is seen, read as a main vertical element in contrast with the horizontality of the other components which are generally lighter in colour and articulated by the predominant presence of the balconies which are to be finished with clear glass railings,” the authority added.

To address energy-efficiency measures all rainwater will be collected into an underground water reservoir which will have a capacity of 60% of the roof area and will be used for irrigation purposes. All waste generated during the operation of the campus will be stored within an underground dedicated area and will be divided into different disposal categories for collection.

All food waste will be segregated within a confined section of the same area and will be sealed to prevent odour generation.

A 200kWp polycrystalline photovoltaic system will be installed in dedicated areas of the roof and these will generate 320,000kWh of electricity annually providing for the 4.57% of the annual electrical consumption needed.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage had stated that the proposed development would potentially impact the skyline and views of the Grand Harbour when seen from Valletta and requested additional information and details, the case officer said, but these concerns were later alleviated.

“Following review of additional documentation, the SCH stated that it had no objection to the development provided that the proposed height of the hotel component will be in accordance with the master plan for the Kalkara/Ricasoli Area,” the case officer said.

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