MIDI has submitted a revised masterplan for the restoration and development of Manoel Island to the Planning Authority.
According to the new masterplan, the footprint of the new buildings will be scaled down from 26% to approximately 10% of the site area. The gross floor area of the new buildings will total 55,000sqm compared to the 95,000sqm outlined in the government deed.
MIDI aims that the new masterplan will create a more sustainable development, which will have 192,000sqm of open spaces, of which 175,000sqm is public.
Two new open spaces include an 80,000sqm, known as the Glacis Park, surrounding Fort Manoel and a 35,000sqm open space at the entrance of the island.
The revised masterplan also contemplates a complete overhaul of the existing yacht marina in order to provide safe berthing for yachts of varying size. However, protection will be provided by a floating breakwater thus mitigating the environmental impact.
Furthermore, the existing slipway, which is situated on the north side of the island and used by local enthusiasts, will be upgraded as part of the development.
The new plans address issues surrounding the cattle shed and the customs house, saying that the project will be “sensitively designed” around the buildings.
“No efforts have been spared to ensure that all the heritage buildings will be restored and given a new lease of life, in particular the Lazzaretto which will be used for mixed-use and hospitality purposes,” MIDI said in a statement.
The restoration of the heritage buildings will be undertaken at a cost estimated at more than €40 million, which includes the works already undertaken to restore Fort Manoel.
“The decision to revise the masterplan is a result of the site investigations carried out, during the last twenty-four months, under the supervision of an independent archaeologist approved by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage,” MIDI CEO Mark Portelli said.
“Investigations established that a large part of the site, which was previously earmarked for development, is of archaeological importance. This prompted us to draw up a new masterplan for Manoel Island.”
“As a responsible developer MIDI will continue to work closely and transparently with all stakeholders, by listening, engaging, and providing updates throughout the project, thereby ensuring the delivery of significant benefits to the community for the long term,” he concluded.
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