MIDI plc is pleased to announce that, together with the Gzira Local Council (“GLC”), it has established a non-profit foundation, The Manoel Island Foundation, to act as guardian of the rights and obligations agreed to between MIDI and the GLC as set out in the Guardianship Deed.
The Administrative Committee of the Foundation consists of four members; the initial members are Conrad Borg Manche (Gzira Mayor) elected as Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Claire Bonello, Ralph Mangion (Gzira Deputy Mayor) and Mark Portelli (MIDI CEO).
The Guardianship Deed has today been entered into between The Foundation, GLC and MIDI. MIDI has committed to bind itself through the Deed to provide certain commitments governing public access to the Manoel Island Public Park, the Foreshore, the Swimming Zones and Fort Manoel as well as the Building Heights of the residential units to be developed at Manoel Island – full details are listed below.
Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, Minister Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius attended the signing of the agreement, held at Fort Manoel.
The Guardianship Deed ensures that as part of the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island, MIDI is obliged to landscape the glacis surrounding the Fort in order to deliver more than 80,000 sqm of public park space for the general public to enjoy for the long term.
MIDI has already completed extensive works to restore and preserve Fort Manoel, one of the gems of Malta’s cultural heritage and one of the country’s finest examples of baroque fortifications. Fort Manoel is designed to become a centre for Culture and the Arts, comprising galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and a Parade Ground for open air events, all with full public access and the Chapel will also be used for community events. This helps to ensure that Fort Manoel will become one of Malta’s most visited attractions.
Although MIDI does not own the foreshore, the Guardianship Deed ensures that the foreshore is accessible at all times and the Company has committed to forego areas initially indicated for mooring in order to provide protected swimming zones on the North and East sides of the island.
A low-rise Foster & Partners designed marina village area will be developed on the western part of Manoel Island with a yacht marina. The regeneration scheme design will restore and connect the different parts of the island, whether historic or new, and create a number of substantial open spaces and public piazzas throughout the development. MIDI is undertaking to limit heights of the development to the ones permitted and is further undertaking not to apply for any increase in the heights, in order to ensure that the development brief is not amended over time.
The revised Masterplan is currently being considered by the Planning Authority (“PA”) and as part of the process the Company is preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment based on terms of reference provided by the Environmental and Resources Authority (“ERA”).
Alec Mizzi, Chairman of MIDI plc, commented:
“I am pleased that MIDI, as a responsible developer, together with the Gzira Local Council, has signed this Guardianship Deed and established The Manoel Island Foundation, which ensure the careful restoration and preservation of Manoel Island and significant green park space, which delivers what the local community wants and deserves to have.
I would like to sincerely thank Conrad Borg Manche, Mayor of Gzira, and Claire Bonello for their commitment to this process and my fellow Board colleagues for helping to secure the signing of this agreement, which achieves an outcome of true mutual benefit that we can all be proud of.”
Conrad Borg Manche, Mayor of Gzira, said:
“On behalf of the residents of Gzira, I am delighted that this Agreement has been signed to ensure the considerate development of Manoel Island by MIDI. This agreement ensures that the local community remains at the forefront of development decisions by MIDI.
Claire Bonello was instrumental in not only helping to create the awareness of the need for change in the project but also negotiating with the Board of MIDI. By partnering with Claire, as champion of the community’s needs, she has helped to ensure that the dialogue was successful.
I would like to especially thank Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, for his unwavering support to achieve this outcome for the benefit of the community.”
Claire Bonello, Chairperson Administrator Manoel Island Foundation, said:
“I fully endorse this agreement as it safeguards the interests of the local community. The revised Manoel Island masterplan creates an environment for both residents and the public to enjoy. This partnership is the first of its kind and we hope that it can be replicated in appropriate major projects throughout Malta. This proves that through sensitive dialogue win-win situations can be accomplished.
I want to thank MIDI management and its Board for entering into a constructive dialogue and commend them for committing to this process and entering into an agreement.”
Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, stated:
The Manoel Island Guardianship Deed is a significant milestone for the country, which should serve as a model for the relationship between the community and the investor. It is a balance between the natural, cultural and historical environment which embraces sustainable commercial activity. The investor is accepting its role in the community by realising that the public land granted to it must be kept open to the public, landscaped, and maintained in good condition to be enjoyed by families. The beautifully restored Manoel Island together with the 80,000 sqm of public open space is being returned back to its rightful owner, the public.
The aims and objectives of The Manoel Island Foundation are to:
- assume the role of guardian of the obligations and commitments imposed upon MIDI pursuant to the terms of the Guardianship Agreement and to ensure they are complied with by MIDI;
- accept the rights and assume the obligations which will be created in favour of, or imposed upon the Foundation in the Guardianship Agreement;
- take all decisions requested of it pursuant to the terms of the Guardianship Agreement;
- notify the contracting parties of any breach, demand the rectification of any default situation; and to
- do all that is ancillary, incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.
The Guardianship Deed
The Guardianship Deed has today been entered into between The Foundation, GLC and MIDI. MIDI has committed to bind itself through the Deed to provide certain commitments governing the Manoel Island Public Park, the Foreshore, the Swimming Zones, Fort Manoel and Building Heights on Manoel Island as detailed hereunder:
Manoel Island Public Park
MIDI is agreeing to designate the glacis areas around Fort Manoel as a Public Park which will be accessible to the general public at all times. Furthermore, MIDI is undertaking:
- not to (or allow any third parties to) build, construct, develop, erect structures of any type (whether of a temporary or permanent nature) or to encroach upon the area within the perimeter of the Public Park;
- not to (or allow any third parties to) carry out, operate, administer or subcontract the carrying out of any commercial activity of any type from within the Manoel Island Public Park; and
- to ensure that all areas within the Manoel Island Park shall be landscaped in a way which reasonably caters for the enjoyment of such areas and shall not prevent public access.
MIDI acknowledges that the Foreshore is excluded from the Deed and accordingly, MIDI is undertaking:
- not to build, construct, develop, erect structures of any type or for any duration, or to encroach upon the part of the Foreshore;
- not to carry out, operate, administer or subcontract the carrying out of any commercial activity of any type or for any duration whatsoever upon the Foreshore; and
- to ensure that the foreshore is accessible to the general public at all times.
MIDI undertakes to provide designated protected swimming zones for the benefit of the general public, on the North Shore and on the East Shore of Manoel Island.
MIDI is binding itself to utilise the Fort for cultural, community and commercial uses which ensure that the general public will enjoy access to the Fort. For this reason, MIDI will bind itself not to utilise Fort Manoel as a hotel or for any accommodation or residential purposes.
MIDI is undertaking to develop a low rise development in terms of the outline development application submitted to the PA. Following the issuance of the Full Development Permits, MIDI is undertaking to limit heights of the developments and structures built or erected on Manoel Island to the ones permitted and is further undertaking not to apply for any increase in the heights of the developments and structures built or erected on Manoel Island without the consent of the Foundation.
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About MIDI plc
MIDI was granted a concession to develop Manoel Island together with Tigné Point, by virtue of a public deed dated 15 June 2000, the Company acquired the Emphyteutical Land at Tigné Point and Manoel Island from the Government of Malta by title of temporary emphyteusis for a period of ninety-nine (99) years which commenced in June 2000. Under the same Emphyteutical Deed, the Company also acquired from the Malta Maritime Authority, for a period of ninety-nine (99) years, the right to develop and operate a yacht marina on a defined area facing the south shore of Manoel Island in Ta’ Xbiex Creek, Limits of Gzira.
Manoel Island overview http://www.manoelisland.com.mt
Once MIDI successfully completes, at no cost to the public purse, the restoration and redevelopment of Manoel Island, the Company will deliver more than 80,000 sqm of public park space and the preservation of designated swimming areas on the Island’s foreshore for the local community to enjoy for the long term. MIDI has already completed extensive works to restore and preserve Fort Manoel, one of the gems of Malta’s cultural heritage and one of the country’s finest examples of baroque fortifications, and is now restoring the outer-works surrounding the fort.
Fort Manoel is designed to become a centre for Culture and the Arts, comprising galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and a Parade Ground for open air events, all with full public access and the Chapel will also be used for community events, weddings and celebrations. This helps to ensure that Fort Manoel will become one of Malta’s most visited attractions.
A low-rise Foster & Partners designed marina village area will be developed on the western part of Manoel Island with a yacht marina. The regeneration scheme design will restore and connect the different parts of the island, whether historic or new, and create a number of substantial open spaces and public piazzas throughout the development. The Lazzaretto, which has been adapted for various uses across the centuries (from a quarantine hospital, submarine base and, more recently, as offices and storage), will be restored as a Five Star Hotel with serviced apartments.