Turning Marsa Sports Complex into an international recognised sports hub

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New proposed planning policies have been published by the Planning Authority to further enable the site of the Marsa Sports Complex and its immediate vicinity to be transformed into an internationally recognised sports hub.

The review has divided the Marsa Sports Complex site into four zones and is proposing a maximum cumulative built footprint of not more than 60,000sqm. 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.

An area to the north of this zone, covering a footprint of 6,000m2 is proposed to be designated 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 9,000m2 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. 

Through this review policy, especially given the nature of the site, the Authority is also encouraging a strong element of green infrastructure to be incorporated into any upgrading or redevelopment of existing facilities.

The review is also proposing some amendments to conditions that had been approved as part of Planning control application PC 51/16. The site which is adjacent to the Marsa horseracing track and which today have been developed with the Centreparc Shopping Mall will in certain parts be allowed to increase its building height by a further two floors. All public opens spaces must remain safeguarded and effectively landscaped and maintained. 

The proposed amendments signify that three local plans, that of the Grand Harbour, South Malta and Central Malta will have their site-specific planning policies changed. 

The public and all interested stakeholders are being invited to submit their comments on the proposed revised policy for the Marsa Sports Complex area. Representations are to be made in writing and sent through e-mail address: ghlp@pa.org.mt. The proposed policy document and maps together with the public submissions received during the initial phase of consultation are available on the Authority’s website www.pa.org.mt/consultation

Submissions are to reach the Authority by 10th July 2020.