Client: Metropolis Ltd
Start / Finish Dates: July 2005 - May 2013
The project involved the demolition of the former ‘Mira Motors Building’ and the construction of a new multi-storey building with underlying parking. The Metropolis Plaza will include three high-rise buildings consisting of 13, 27 and 33 floors and feature luxury residences, commercial space, and health, fitness and leisure facilities.
A Traffic Scoping Study was initially requested to ascertain the likely traffic generation from the Scheme and to distribute such traffic onto the road network. This study was submitted in August 2005. It was followed by a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) in 2007 that reviewed the 2005 results following changes to the plans, and also looked at parking provision, internal circulation and construction traffic. It established the impact of the project on the adjacent key links and junctions and proposed mitigation measures where necessary. Of particular concern was the adjacent roundabout which has since been upgraded.
An Environmental Planning Statement (EPS) was prepared over the same period. The EPS identified the impacts of the Scheme on the environment. The excavations works will result in the production of significant amounts of waste rock and is likely to cause an increase in dust levels in the surrounding area and noise and vibration complaints.
The Scheme will mostly result in a minor change in view. The change in view ranges from minor to major significance. In the immediate vicinity of the Scheme site, the change in view is expected to be minor beneficial.
The Scheme will also result in a change in the low-rise urban fabric, loss of refuge and privacy for some people, increased noise and air pollution, short-term effects on some businesses and long term increase in activity in the area. With the exception of the change to the urban fabric, all impacts would also result from the development of the site with buildings similar to those on the surrounding area.
A number of measures to reduce the impact of the Scheme were incorporated into the siting and design of the Scheme components, through the iterations of the EIA process. Mitigation measures also addressed both geo-environmental resources and noise and vibration issues.
The Outline Development Permit was approved in June 2007; the Full Development Permit followed in March 2009.
In April 2013, an update to the TIS was requested by Transport Malta after the applicant submitted a renewal application. The update focused on validating the original 2005 / 2007 base models, reviewing the trip distribution assumptions, re-modelling the key junction and reviewing the access arrangements. The update highlighted safety concerns at a key junction and the Scheme access. Safety and geometric improvements at these two locations, together with modification of the existing traffic management were recommended.
The renewal application was approved in June 2013.
Keywords: Urban regeneration, high-rise development, Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment