Citizens save 19th century heritage townhouse in Sliema

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar had launched an online platform allowing citizens to voice their concerns with the Planning Authority. The PA has now rejected the proposed demolition of a Sliema townhouse

Staff Reporter
13 September 2017, 4:29pm
The 19th century townhouse, on Stella Maris Street in Sliema
The 19th century townhouse, on Stella Maris Street in Sliema
Last October, green NGO Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar launched an online platform to allow citizens to voice their concerns directly to the Planning Authority about the proposed demolition of a 19th century townhouse, on Stella Maris Street in Sliema.

If permitted, the development would have resulted in this townhouse being replaced by a five-storey apartment block, retaining only the facade as a reminder of what was lost. 

Situated in the heart of Sliema's village core where most of the characteristic townhouses have been retained, this application irrefutably violated existing planning policy and would have inevitably led to the demolition of this virtually intact Urban Conservation street, FAA said.

Outraged by the application, the general public responded to the call to action and flooded the Planning Authority with over 500 objections. Following this wave of public response, the Planning Authority refused the damaging application, “proving that when the public comes together there is power to change things for the better”.

“May this be a reminder to all that the fight for our heritage and environment is not a lost battle,” the FAA said. “The only certainty of failure lies in giving up. We owe it to ourselves and to the future generations of this island to keep fighting - we are not powerless.”

FAA took the opportunity “to urge members of the public, who have Malta’s heritage at heart, to join associations that speak up for what makes Malta special, as that is the only way to ensure its survival.”