New & now
Please sir, no more! Could Mosta’s historic Villa Gollcher gardens become a car park?
Reports of a promise-of-sale agreement could put one of the town’s biggest green lungs in jeopardy.

Sarah Micallef

Wikimedia Commons / Continentaleurope

Wikimedia Commons / Continentaleurope

Mosta is well known among locals for being a central town with a village feel. Thousands flock here every year to catch a glimpse of the towering Mosta Dome or Rotunda, as it is also known, and it’s also celebrated for the green lungs – both public, and private – interspersed between it’s built up areas.

Apart from the public countryside spaces serving as great leisure spots, the locality’s green areas help keep the air in the otherwise bustling town clean, making them increasingly important as our streets get busier.

An impressive garden

Google Maps

Google Maps

One such green lung is the privately owned 13,000 square metre garden belonging to the historic Villa Gollcher, located a short skip and hop from Mosta’s impressive church and square, but sadly, it now appears to be at risk. According to media reports, the extensive gardens are being considered as a possible site for the development of a car park, with a promise of sale agreement having recently been signed.

It has been reported that the agreement is subject to the issuance of a development permit for a large-scale development, which could herald sad news for one of central Mosta’s largest green lungs.

Could this be goodbye?

Wikimedia Commons / Continentaleurope

Wikimedia Commons / Continentaleurope

While not open to the public, Villa Gollcher’s gardens are said to be full of citrus trees, and the extensive green space is clearly visible in satellite imagery of the area. While the site is listed as a green enclave and is said to be protected from development by the local plan, the historic villa and gardens do not benefit from heritage protection.

The authorities had previously earmarked the surface car park near the Rotunda for the development of an underground car park, though this was met with opposition from the parish church, which expressed fears over excavation works so close by.

Apart from this area, the gardens of Villa Gollcher remain the only sizeable undeveloped spot in the centre of the locality… but we have one question – is it worth it?

13th May 2019


Sarah Micallef
Written by
Sarah Micallef
A keen traveller with an interest in most things, Sarah loves her island home as much as she loves getting away from it, and enjoys discovering and re-discovering the gems, hidden corners and unique stories of her native Malta and Gozo.

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