Client: Seabank Group
Start / Finish Dates: October 2007 – September 2009
The project involved the extension of the hotel to provide for an additional 340 guest rooms (an approximate doubling of capacity), upgrading of ancillary facilities, including the provision of extensive landscaping / swimming pool areas, and underground parking for 200 cars. The site covered an area of 1.8 hectares.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) addressed potential impacts in relation to: cultural heritage, noise, visual amenity, ecology, agriculture, hydrology, and geo-environment. The potential key impacts arising from the project were identified as:
- loss of agricultural land;
- habitat loss at Il-Hofra;
- the demolition of rubble walls and two cultural heritage features;
- visual impacts; and
- construction noise impacts.
The Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) focused on the impact of traffic generated by the project on the adjacent roundabout. Traffic flows were observed during network peak hours. The trips likely to be generated by the development were modelled and different scenarios were assessed using a RODEL, PICADY and ARCADY. Parking requirements were established through the use of Adi Associates in-house dynamic parking model. The access arrangements for the project were revised as a result of the traffic assessment.
The Appropriate Assessment (AA) was required to determine whether the project would have an impact on the adjacent Ghadira SAC – the Il-Hofra saline marshland. The potential key impacts arising from the project were identified as:
- habitat loss and disturbance;
- escape of new species used in landscaping into surrounding habitats;
- particulate deposition (particularly during the dry season)
- noise and vibration disturbance;
- light pollution; and
- changes to the hydraulic regime.
Development permission was granted for the project in January 2011.
Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Special Area of Conservation, Traffic Impact Assessment, Appropriate Assessment, hotel extension