MEPA approves Cittadella Master Plan outline application
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The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) board today approved a Ministry for Gozo project for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Cittadella in Gozo.
MEPA has given the green light to the outline application related to the implementation of the Cittadella Master Plan recommendations The Master Plan, commissioned by the Ministry for Gozo was made possible through the EEA Financial Mechanisms with the donor countries being Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The multi-disciplinary Master Plan drawn up following a wide consultation process with all key stakeholders proposes ten key actions for the restoration, rehabilitation and proper management of the Cittadella. The actions of the Master Plan range from the restoration of key buildings and public spaces, the installation of new services, the creation of visitor interpretation facilities and related amenities to accessibility and lighting amongst others.
During the same sitting, MEPA approved also the third of a series of full development applications addressing specific actions for the Cittadella namely, the restoration and conversion of a historical unused reservoir into a state-of-the-art visitors’ centre which would provide the much required interpretation and ancillary facilities for visitors. The reservoir, an architectural gem which has been hidden from public eye for more than a century and a half will be restored and rehabilitated to welcome visitors to the Cittadella and provide multi-media interpretative facilities which would help visitors to understand better the history and importance of the Cittadella and its fortifications.
Earlier this year, MEPA has approved two other applications related to this project – one for the restoration of facades of important public buildings within Cittadella including the Gozo Law Courts, Governor’s Palace and Old Prisons and the trenching works for services inside the Cittadella which include the repaving of all the streets and walkways, thus increasing accessibility for all to most parts of the site.
Currently, MEPA is also assessing other applications related to this project including the rehabilitation and restoration of Cathedral Square and the upgrading of the access road leading to it. This application is at an advanced stage of processing. Other applications include one for landscaping and rehabilitation works in the ditch, installation of floodlighting and low level street and building lighting and the installation of signage, outdoor furniture and railings.
The Ministry for Gozo has recently submitted an application for the potential EU co-financing of these restoration and rehabilitation works of the internal parts of the Cittadella as recommended by the Master Plan. The project application has been submitted under Priority Axis 2 of Operational Programme I – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013. In addition, a seven million euro project co-financed under this same Priority Axis and Operational Programme involving the restoration of the Cittadella fortification walls and the stability of the underlying bedrock is currently underway.
The Cittadella restoration and rehabilitation project is one of the actions included in the Eco-Gozo Action Plan for 2010-2012