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Marsaxlokk hotel approved instead of Southport restaurant on town promenade

The Planning Directorate  described plans for the hotel  which include the demolition of the townhouse retaining part of the facade as  'a good example in urban regeneration'

James Debono
1 September 2017, 8:27am
The plan is to turn the building into a 30-room hotel
The plan is to turn the building into a 30-room hotel
The Planning Authority has approved the demolition of a traditional building in Xatt is-Sajjieda in Marsaxlokk, currently occupied by the Southport restaurant, and its replacement by a 30-room hotel.

The proposal, which was recommended for approval by the Planning Directorate, entails the near total demolition of the existing building located in the Urban Conservation Area of Marsaxlokk.

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage had not objected to the demolition because the ground floor facade will be retained.

The Planning Directoratealso recommended the approval of what it described as “a good example in urban regeneration”.

The existing building consists of a two-storey structure with a ground floor facade constructed of local hard stone, which is resistant to sea spray.

This full development application proposes the internal demolition of the existing building and of the entire first floor façade. The hotel will include a basement with an indoor pool, a reception on the ground floor, 12 rooms on the first floor, 12 rooms on the second floor and a receded third floor, which includes a restaurant and a pool deck.

Din l-Art Helwa had objected to the demolition of the traditional seafront building, insisting that the design of the new hotel was not sensitive to its location and did not respect the historic building.

In the case officer report the current building is described as being similar in its construction to other structures constructed next to or close to the seashore.

The proposal involves the uprooting of an olive tree in the back garden of the building.

Both the Design Advisory Committee (DAC) and the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage (SCH) had requested numerous changes to the design of the new hotel.

The latest designs were endorsed by the DAC albeit not by the SCH, which indicated that another option was preferable.

According to the case officer the final design “manages to surmount the apparent difficulty of tying such a characteristic building with the proposed extension within an area which has already lost much of its character”.  The design is described as a “good example of urban regeneration.” The case officer also concluded that the proposal does not exceed the “predominant height of the existing streetscape.”

plans showing the extent of proposed hotel near Pisces restuarant.
plans showing the extent of proposed hotel near Pisces restuarant.
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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