18 July 2001


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Crown Works/Horn Works Action Plan approved

The Planning Authority has approved an action plan for the Crown Works and Horn Works area in Blata l-Bajda. The Plan includes two major proposals: A park and ride scheme for Valletta and Floriana and a Carnival Centre. The Plan has been presented to Government for its approval.

The Plan covers some 15 hectares of Government-owned land. The Crown Works/Horn Works area provides an ideal strategic location for the successful implementation of these two national projects and an opportunity to create a heritage trail around the whole fortifications network.

The Action Plan was published for public consultation in February last year. A revised version of the Plan was subsequently approved by the Planning Authority.

The Crown Works/Horn Works fortifications date back to the 16th century. They have a unique design but are in dire need of regeneration. This has not been possible due to inappropriate and conflicting land uses in the area. The Action Plan addresses this problem by introducing appropriate land uses and by upgrading the fortifications.

The Plan provides detailed guidelines as to how the Park and Ride and the Carnival Centre projects can be positively introduced in a way that would upgrade the area. The projects will help improve the transport network and the urban environment in Valletta and Floriana.

Park and Ride
Strategically located next to Triq Nazzjonali, the Park and Ride scheme is to provide 950 car parking spaces in an approximate area of 41,000 square metres. A high frequency shuttle service to Valletta and Floriana is to be provided by mini electric buses charged through photo-voltaic panels located at the Horn Works Site.

This project should help decrease the traffic congestion and parking problems in Valletta and Floriana. An estimated 90,000 vehicle trips take place in and out of the peninsula on a normal working day. The latest transport counts for St Anne Street show a 10 per cent annual increase in traffic.

Carnival Centre
The Carnival Centre project focuses on the provision of a two-level development. The lower level will accommodate about 18 carnival workshops in an area of approximately 15,000 square metres. These will allow for the relocation of a number of workshops currently dispersed around Valletta and Floriana, including Fort St Elmo.

The upper level of the village is to include an administration centre, exhibition hall, lecture/audio visual room, a carnival products retail outlet, dance rehearsal rooms and a a cafeteria/beer garden.

Implementation
The implementation of the Action Plan will involve the removal of a number of buildings and structures built next to the fortifications. Some of these works have already commenced, including the Enemalta Distribution Centre project and the Maltacom Office site rehabilitation project which are both underway. Both projects involve the removal of unsightly structures and buildings around the bastions.

The implementation of the Action Plan will allow for the full appreciation of the fortifications by locals and tourists alike. The Plan can become a prime example of how the country can utilise its fortifications sustainably to meet future development needs while promoting the past.

 



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt