Client: Townsquare Sliema Ltd
Start / Finish Dates: April 2007 – January 2012
The Scheme is located in Sliema at the former Union Club sites and the scheduled Grade 1 Villa Drago. It comprises the construction of 242 apartments, 8,200m2 of retail / F&B and ancillary uses, 5,700m2 of office space, and 800 car parking spaces. The majority of the apartments will be located in a central tower, 32 storeys high.
The Environmental Planning Statement (EPS) submitted by Adi Associates in June 2007 covered aspects of landscape and visual amenity, mineral waste, social, wind, noise and vibration, air quality and cultural heritage. The EPS concluded the following:
- Excavations will result in the production of significant amounts of waste rock and will likely increase dust levels in the surrounding area;
- Emissions from the traffic associated with the Scheme are likely to exacerbate the already exceeded air quality thresholds;
- Noise and vibration might be a nuisance both during excavation and construction;
- From a social point of view, the Scheme will result in a change in the urban fabric;
- Minor to major changes in views are expected;
- The restoration of Villa Drago and its gardens will have a beneficial impact; and
- Insignificant wind impacts.
Mitigation measures were subsequently recommended to minimise the identified impacts. The EPS noted that the majority of the impacts, except impacts on visual amenity, would be expected whether the site is developed as low-rise traditional development, or whether it is developed in the manner being proposed.
A Traffic Impact Statement was submitted in August 2007. The study assessed the site vehicular accesses, parking provision, internal circulation, trip generation and the impact of development traffic on five nearby junctions. Various recommendations were put forward, including the provision of a grade separated pedestrian crossing, and a deceleration / acceleration lane.
In February 2010, plans were revised in order to reduce the height of the tower from 32 to 23 storeys. The building performance in terms of wind, shadow and visual amenity was re-assessed.
A further update was presented in January 2012 after the Malta Environment & Planning Authority requested in situ air quality monitoring. An air quality monitoring station was set up for six weeks to monitor NO, NO2, and PM10 emissions. Six weeks of continuous traffic monitoring was also undertaken with the help of automatic traffic counters. The collected data was then fed into a model to predict the likely air quality impacts on sensitive receptors from the traffic generated by the Scheme. The results showed that the impact is negligible.
Keywords: high rise development, urban regeneration, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Survey, Landscape and Visual Amenity Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Statement, Traffic Survey