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Farsons' Business Park gets PA's blessing

€40 million development earmarked for completion by end 2020

Farsons’ Business Park was today approved unanimously by the Planning Authority following the submission of a master plan.

Last month, the PA board had expressed a preliminary opinion against the development, which the company had taken as a rejection.

The €40 million development is earmarked to complement the rehabilitation of the Old Brewhouse that aims to restore and convert the industrial space and includes a Visitor Centre Experience with supporting food and other retail outlets, flexible workspace and additional amenities.

Planned for completion by the end of 2020, the project, designed by Ian Ritchie Architects Limited, with the support of Malta-based engineers, TBA Periti, is to have over 18,000 square metres of offices.

Read: €40 million Farsons business park 'turned down' by Planning Authority

Although the proposed development was not in accordance with planning policies, the Planning Directorate had recommended the project for approval as it was of the opinion that the proposed development could give additional value to the area.

But during the first public hearing, PA board members expressed concern that the proposal was not according to policy. The decision was suspended to give Farsons time to submit a masterplan but the company had opted not to and proceed for a decision, according to the PA.

Farsons has now submitted the masterplan and stated that no further development is being contemplated.

In a press statement, Farsons said that with regard to the master plan, it had submitted a plan indicating how the business park would sit on a site in total measuring 69,000m2. Areas covering this site are occupied by the company’s operations, as approved through the necessary planning permits, and would also house the proposed business park.

"Given that no other developments are contemplated, the overall plan submitted was therefore a comprehensive and complete master plan for the use of the said site. Therefore, the statement issued by the PA that the company opted not to submit a master plan is not correct," Farsons said.

"Furthermore, the PA’s assertion that the Planning Directorate in its Development Planning Application Report recommended approval in spite of the “project not being in accordance with planning policies” is also factually incorrect, given that, referring to the proposed height, the DPAR clearly stated that “the intended height of the development is also deemed acceptable” and that the site “complies with all the above-mentioned criteria”.

In a tweet, Nationalist MP and PA board representative Ryan Callus applauded the PA permit decision, saying the development respected the urban fabric.

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