Urban design parameters to determine building heights at Imriehel and Marsa industrial parks

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The building height restrictions that exist within the industrial parks of Imriehel and Marsa are proposed to be removed as the Planning Authority seeks to introduce more flexibility in the provision of industrial space within the Maltese Islands.

The proposal, which will include amendments to the South Malta and Central Malta Local Plans, is for building heights in these zones to be determined by non-numeric, urban design policies achieving a balance between optimizing the space available whilst respecting the environment and the communities that live and work within these areas.

The proposed urban design parameters which will guide the assessment of building heights will include the operational needs of the business, the under-ground development potential, the topography of the site, the proximity of sites/buildings that must be safeguarded and the impact upon the skyline. The general massing and design of the building must follow best practice in terms of environmentally sustainable design, neighbour compatibility, construction and operational management. No blank party walls will be allowed.

Perit Joseph Scalpello, Assistant Director for Planning said “We are putting forward these proposed changes because we are aware of the shortage of industrial space. Economic growth,  new investment and the creation of better employment opportunities can only come about if we optimize the space we have in areas such as that of Mriehel and Marsa. For Government’s recently launched ‘Industrial Infrastructure Enhancement Programme’ to go forward and be successful such measures need to be introduced.” Perit Scalpello added that “here we are not proposing a carte blanche approach but finding the right balance in the most sustainable manner.”

The proposed policy changes to the partial review of the South Malta Local Plan (policy SMMR 1) and the Central Malta Local Plan (policy CG14, as amended by planning control application PC57/10 of 2012) may be downloaded from the Authority’s website www.pa.org.mt. Submissions may be sent on email address industry.review@pa.org.mt and must be received by 29th January 2021.

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