Taking no gambles at old casino site: MINISTER PREFERS GOING GREEN

Taking no gambles at old casino site: MINISTER PREFERS GOING GREEN

The Development and Planning Commission met up yesterday to discuss with architects on ‘The Reserve’ a new apartment complex which is hoped to replace the old casino on Europa Road.

It is said that the old Casino will eventually collapse by itself unless something gets done beforehand, which risks damaging historic water tanks beneath the building. The construction of this new modern apartment complex is a fix to this, while also providing luxury apartments for the public. 

Developer Greg Butcher, who has in the past delivered on past projects and has a good reputation in the community, offered three options in regards to the new apartment complex. The design has taken elements from the ‘Bosco Verticale’ in Milan, which has more than 900 trees on 8,900 square metres of terraces. The architects, Morgan Carn Architects, have in fact been in contact with the developers of the Bosco Verticale for advice in regards to the design of the building and plant life.

The options consisted of A, B and C – A having the least amount of trees and plant life, B having more and C having the most. A was previously discussed upon in the DPC meeting on the 20th June of this year, to which the DPC told them that there needed to be more plant life. The Architects in their presentation had expressed enthusiasm and recommendation with option B, saying that this would be the best option for the building as it is both cheaper to maintain and would be less strenuous on the building in the future, and C which is the most costly but the best in terms of the environment.

It is hoped that the building will accommodate 111 high quality residences and will utilise dechlorinated waste water from The Reserve’s swimming pool, and will also harvest rain water, to provide water for the plentiful amount of trees and plant life that The Reserve will have.

“We welcome the work that’s been done by the applicants in having a green facade and further green facades to the building. Our view is that Option C is the one that provides the greatest positive visual impact, but we’ve heard the comments in relation to the cost of that.” is what a member of the DPC had said.

“I would like to see this sort of approach from more developers, but I have particular confidence in this developer because I think that this developer has a good track record of greening and landscaping,” another DPC member had said.

The DPC would like to implement Option C, and Minister for Environment Dr John Cortes expressed some frustration at the lack of information in regards to Option C, as Option B was primarily focused on more and was recommended by the developers.

Dr Cortes said, “Overall, my view is that the greener is better. I love Option C, If we’re going to have a large building, that’s the one I’d like to see. Congratulations for the work that’s been done in a relatively short space of time to get here. The bad thing for Greg is that he’s given me a taste of Belgian Chocolate and I don’t want to settle with a Kitkat. There’s still some information that’s required, still not sure of the cost implications and frankly I think we should have the full picture before we progress further.”

The next Development Planning Commission Meeting is to be held on the 22nd of August and the agenda can be found online close to the date of the meeting.