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Developments on Manoel Island have been given the go-ahead by the Environment and Resources Authority following a second analysis on the environmental impact of the proposed plans.

The environmental regulator had to resubmit its environmental impact assessment on the project last February following an appeal by third parties in front of the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal. 

According to a statement issued earlier today, the main points of concern related to the impact of land use, landscape character and visual amenity along with the impact construction work may have on cultural heritage features and the increased emissions generated during operation works.

“With respect to ecological features, this assessment sets forward the need for proper safeguards with respect to the protected marine species, including the proper phasing of marine works, the use of silt curtains and the complete avoidance of vessels and barges passing in the vicinity of the area,” the statement read.

Following the conclusion of its assessment, the ERA stated that it “does not object to the proposal from an environmental point of view” while stating that waste management, landscaping and the architectural design of the proposed building clusters are reserved matters.

Earlier this year, a masterplan was submitted by MIDI to transform, restore and develop Manoel Island into a mixed residential and commercial area with 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.   

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.

It 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.

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