Delimara hotel set for approval

The new hotel is being proposed on the site of the ruins of a hotel which closed down in the 1980s • Developer drops plans to build a tunnel between hotel and beach

The derelict hotel at Kalanka beach
The derelict hotel at Kalanka beach

The Planning Directorate has endorsed a new 17-room hotel at Kalanka beach after developer Kenneth Abela dropped plans for beach facilities and the construction of a 50-metre tunnel linking the building to the seaside.

The new hotel is being proposed on the site of the ruins of a hotel which closed down in the 1980s. The footprint of the derelict hotel will increase by 561 square metres, whilst an additional 480 square metres, will be occupied by terraces and a swimming pool.

This will result in a total footprint of 1,050 square metres, which according to the case officer is equivalent to “the existing disturbed footprint” around the old hotel.

A final decision will be taken by the Planning board in a meeting scheduled for 15 March.

The case officer report reveals that the developers have abandoned plans for the construction of a tunnel linking the beach to the hotel after an Environmental Impact Assessment warned this could undermine the stability of the cliff.

The EIA had also warned that the development will result in a significant change in the rural and natural landscape with the introduction of a “larger and taller hotel building with a modern form”.

A photomontage of the proposed hotel at Delimara
A photomontage of the proposed hotel at Delimara

But according to the case officer the proposed additional floor and horizontal extensions of the derelict hotel would only have moderate impact when viewed from the opposite side of the bay.

“Through the submission of a visual impact assessment, it is being projected that the development will have limited impact on the surroundings, and will only be highly visible from views within the bay itself.”

The case officer also refers to the need to regenerate and upgrade the area noting that the disused Delimara Bay Hotel is in a derelict state, “with the existing structures being subject to vandals and graffiti artists, as well as being in a bad state of disrepair, with existing ceilings being propped up to avoid collapse”.

The Environment and Resources Authority had called for the project to be “significantly downscaled and limited to the replacement of the existing derelict building with a lower-key structure” that does not in any way exceed the dimensions of the existing building in terms of both height and footprint. More than 450 individual citizens objected to the proposed hotel.

In an interview with MaltaToday in August last year Abela defended his plans. “What does the public gain by keeping the derelict building as it is? People will be relaxing and taking a coffee on the terrace of the hotel, and the site which presently is only frequented in summer will be used all-year-round.”

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