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Fort chambray GOZO

Fort Chambray Gozo development

 The Malta Environment and Planning Authority has approved alterations to landscaping and apartments as well as an extension to the underground car park at Fort Chambray. The authority followed the advice of its Planning Directorate and sanctioned the development subject to a number of conditions which relate to landscaping, monitoring and a planning contribution. A spokesman for the directorate said that the developer was now obliged to complete the eastern portion of the site as an initial phase, as was agreed in the deed with the government. In view of the fact that the residential units within the zone have already been launched on the market, the application included various internal and external changes to these completed units. The Environment Protection Department advised the directorate that the majority of the trees proposed for landscaping, and which had already been approved in a previous application, were not acceptable because they were outside the development zone. Permission was also sought to extend the underground east car park, as the plans had been amended to accommodate the retention of a rock cut feature, which resulted in the loss of 92 parking spaces. This application has been granted and allows the car park to be extended to accomodate an additional 60 cars.

 

History

250 years ago, on the tiny unspoiled Mediterranean island of Gozo, The Knights of the Order of St John had a dream. They wished to build a new fortress town to replace The Citadel in Victoria as the Island’s Capital City. They believed that this new city would protect the island because of increased fortification. They were also convinced that this would increase commerce between the islands and attract new settlers to Gozo.

The project for the new fortress town was drawn up and plans were approved. Unfortunately they had to be shelved for around 25 years because of lack of funds. Then Bailiff Jacques Francois de Chambray, Lieutenant General of the Ships, was elected as the new Governor of Gozo and he personally financed the construction and fortification of the new city.

Fort Chambray, as it was christened, took around eleven years to construct, and was ready to start receiving its new residents. However it was still just a walled fortress and was never developed into a fully fledged town as people had stopped fearing attacks from the sea and therefore a heavily fortified town was no longer a des-res.

The Fort’s importance diminished. It was abandoned for several decades until the First World War when British Regiments were stationed there and the Fort had a function once again. From thereon in it served many purposes. In the period between the World Wars, the Government started using the Fort as a mental institution and on the onset of the Second World War it was turned into a hospital with a special section for those afflicted with Leprosy. In 1971 the mental institution was reopened and this was its function for seven years, until the Government planned to allocate the Fort for Tourism purposes.

A large complex was planned with a hotel, commercial outlets and complete restoration – however Fort Chambray once again fell victim to a severe lack of funds and for a second time its development ground to a halt.

Now, finally, Fort Chambray is being given a new lease of life. It is to become a lush and luxurious real-estate haven. New residential units are currently being crafted in stone by local tradesmen using traditional methods. The design has been adapted to create a traditional local village environment; whilst also being an up-market and unique development.

Surrounding the residential units will be landscaped gardens, open spaces, picturesque piazzas and a traffic free environment. The historical and cultural importance of the site, the beauty of the Fort, the stunning views of Mgarr Harbour, Malta and Comino, the warm Mediterranean climate and the professional restoration which is currently underway, all add up to a magnificent real estate opportunity. Fort Chambray is finally a home.