Following Government’s commitment to provide a higher quality of health service for the public at the Gozo General Hospital, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) has carried out a review and drafted new planning policies which will permit the future implementation of investment projects for the overall upgrading of the hospital infrastructure and services.
Besides being the sole and predominant provider of health related facilities and services in Gozo, the General Hospital in Rabat, has essentially retained the same layout for decades leaving certain aspects of its infrastructure and facilities inappropriate for today’s needs.
The proposed policies which are being issued for public consultation include the consideration of both lateral and vertical extensions within the site. While the proposed policy considers the take up of certain open areas located inside the Hospital Grounds for the addition of Health and Community Services, including Health Tourism, the policy also clearly points out that attempts should be made to minimize this take-up for a healthy ‘open to built’ ratio to be retained.
Where the height of buildings is concerned, the policy will allow for new and existing buildings to be built higher than the existing building height provided that there is sufficient justification for specific health facility improvement needs and the assurance of quality design. Any height extensions will still be subject to visual assessment and simulation studies during the development application stage to ascertain that proposed heights do not create unacceptable visual impact and also respect the general context of the Rabat skyline. To limit, as far as possible, the visual intrusiveness, proposals must have varying overall building heights to avoid unacceptable massing and by receding along the ridge edge.
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