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Sliema palazzo on sale for €3.7 million, but claims of hotel permits fall short of reality

PA still processing request to convert house into boutique hotel together with another eight levels of apartments, despite adverts saying that palazzo has approved hotel permit

james
James Debono
8 December 2016, 10:11am
Stately home: The Cloisters on Mrabat Street is being earmarked for a boutique hotel and apartment complex by the Bilom Group
Stately home: The Cloisters on Mrabat Street is being earmarked for a boutique hotel and apartment complex by the Bilom Group
The Cloisters, a scheduled palazzo in Mrabat Street, Sliema, is on sale for €3.7 million on a property website which states – incorrectly – that “the magnificent palazzo” comes with “permits approved for a 34-room boutique hotel”, apart from plans for a restaurant, reception and parking.

In reality the Planning Authority is still processing an outline application presented by Darren Desira, for the conversion of the building into a boutique hotel together with another eight levels of apartments that will rise to 22 metres above Triq Bonavita and Triq is-Sorijiet, at the back of the scheduled Grade 2 building.

The original plans for the development were presented by Bilom Group, but the latest plans have been presented by Desira, a shareholder in a number of Bilom subsidiaries.

Rendition of the proposed construction
Rendition of the proposed construction
Pierre Faure Real Estate, on whose site the building is being advertised, pointed out to MaltaToday that the information they provide was that furnished by the owners.

The latest designs, which show the additional storey added on to the historical building built in a more traditional style, were endorsed by both the Design Advisory Committee and the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage but Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar and the Sliema Heritage Society are still objecting.

The Sliema Heritage Society noted that the project still envisions the “destruction of an extensive garden” and described the proposed development as a “mutilation of a historical building” which would set a precedent for the destruction of hundreds of similar properties.

Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar pointed out that the facades of the building along Triq is-Sorijiet and Triq Bonavita will still be “wiped out” and replaced by a building which contrasts with the context of the site.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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