Enemalta grants consent to developer’s application on its land in Qajjenza

Enemalta confirms its title on the land in Qajjenza has not been transferred to a businessperson who has filed a zoning application to build residential units on the site of the former LNG filling site

The gas tanks at the Qajjenza facility were dismantled after Enemalta divested itself of the LPG sector
The gas tanks at the Qajjenza facility were dismantled after Enemalta divested itself of the LPG sector

Enemalta has granted its consent to a zoning application for a massive residential and commercial development proposed by developer Paul Attard on the site of the  decommissioned Qajjenza gas filling plant.

The site is still mostly owned by the national energy corporation. But the energy company in which the government is a majority shareholder has so far not relinquished its ownership over the land.

“Enemalta did not sell any land. Enemalta has so far limited itself to grant consent to the Planning Authority to review the planning control application, in respect of existing legislation and policies. This consent does not affect Enemalta’s ownership rights nor imply any transfer of title,” a spokesperson for Enemalta told MaltaToday.

MaltaToday had asked Enemalta whether it reached any agreement with Katari Developments Ltd, the company owned by Attard, with regards to this proposal.

The zoning application aimed at setting planning parameters for the massive 23,906 sq.m site was presented by Katari Developments. The company's owner, Paul Attard is also one of the owners of Fort Cambridge developers GAP Limited.

The application envisages the development of four residential blocks with a height ranging from four and eight floors and two four storey office blocks on the site of the decommissioned Qajjenza gas filling plant.

Most of the site is owned by Enemalta (13,561 sq.m) and the government (3,408 sq.m). An additional 6,273sq.m are held by private owners. 

MaltaToday has also asked the Lands Authority whether it has granted consent for the application but so far no reply has been forthcoming.

The site in question was included in the development boundaries in the 2006 extension. The decommissioning of the Qajjenza liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant was approved in 2014 following the transfer of operations from Qajjenza to a new LPG cylinder filling facility developed by Gasco Malta Limited in Birżebbuġa.

The zoning application proposes a change in the local plan which currently limits development in the area to three floors rising to four floors by the seafront.

The application includes a parcel of privately owned land which was the subject of a sentence issued by  the European Court of Human Rights  in 2021. In its sentence the court had given the government three months to return a parcel of land expropriated from its owners in 1984 under the pretext of public interest, or else pay them €500,000.

This portion of land is identified in the current application as belonging to the Mifsud family which had won the court case.