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Nine floors proposed on three sites in Sliema

Present local plans limit development at the Strand and Tower Road to eight floors but developers are asking for an extra floor amidst rumours of an impending policy change raising height limits along the front

James Debono
27 February 2016, 10:41am
A relaxation of height limitations could pave the way for an extra storey along the Sliema front which is currently limited to eight storeys
At least three different planning applications have been proposed in the past weeks proposing a ninth floor in different areas along Tower Road and The Strand in Sliema, where only eight floors are allowed.  

The applications have been filed in the wake of persistent rumours that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority is considering a relaxation of height limitations which would allow an extra storey along the Sliema front where present policies limit development to eight storeys.

Asked specifically whether the MEPA is considering changes to building heights in specific areas like the Sliema and Gzira promenades, a MEPA spokesperson replied that “no specific area has been excluded from consideration” in the current revision of local plans.

The building heights policy approved in 2014 already foresees medium rise development on 4,000 square metre sites surrounded by existing streets. The maximum height allowed in these areas is twice the local plan limitation but fewer than 10 storeys. 

But none of the applications presented in the past weeks falls under the parameters of this policy.

One application proposes an “additional floor on the 8th floor” on a recently approved block in Triq ix-Xatt and Triq Lunzjata along the Strand. Another application proposed by Edgar Tabone foresees a receded ninth floor on an existing Tower Road block opposite Ghar id-Dud.

Sonnet Investments, whose sole director is Ian Decesare, is proposing a sixth, seventh, eight, ninth and penthouse level floors on another block in Triq ix-Xatt in the vicinity of Bisazza Street.

The technical preparation of the draft local plans had to be completed by June 2015. But MEPA has recently confirmed that it has “no fixed date set for completion” of the new local plans. 

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