Zejtun field near historic monument earmarked for five-storey block

Five-storey block proposed by Joseph Portelli business partner earmarked near Grade 1 home of militiaman who repelled Ottoman raid

A residential five-storey block is being proposed on 986sq.m of arable land in the outskirts of Zejtun, in close vicinity to the Grade-1 scheduled Casa Verdi.

Casa Verdi is a historical dwelling believed to have been the residence of Klement Tabone, the Maltese landowner who led a militia that repelled an Ottoman raid in 1614. The house in Triq San Klement was scheduled as a Grade 1 monument in 1995.

Tabone also paid for the construction of the nearby St Clement’s Church, which includes an altarpiece dedicated to his memory.

The development is being proposed by Gozo magnate Joseph Portelli’s business partner, Silvan Mizzi, and architect Maria Schembri Grima, who previously chaired the Building and Construction Authority.

The application foresees the construction of basement garages, and four overlying floors of residential units with a recessed level, in the field behind the historical dwelling at the corner between Triq tal-Fana and Triq E. Attard Bezzina.

The application foresees the removal of existing rubble walls and the uprooting of the existing 14 citrus trees. Silvan Mizzi declared although he does not own the entire site, he is authorised to carry out the proposed development through an agreement with the owner.

The application comes in the wake of a zoning application proposing a pedestrian road passing right through the field which will make the development possible. Otherwise, the development will be regarded as an internal development which is not allowed by law.

Wirt iż-Żejtun is strongly objecting to this zoning application which if approved “will automatically pave the way” for the development of the field at the back of the historical dwelling.

Since the building is being proposed in the buffer zone of a historical monument, developers will have to prove through photomontages that the development not negatively impact on the setting of the monument.