Roman tomb to be integrated in massive Qormi DIY centre

An underlying Roman tomb will be roofed over and integrated within the new complex in Qormi so that it remains visible to the public as a heritage feature

The project includes two levels of a retail and DIY centre and two levels of underground parking
The project includes two levels of a retail and DIY centre and two levels of underground parking

A roman tomb is to be integrated in a massive DIY retail centre in Qormi, the designs of which have been endorsed by the Planning Authority’s design advisory committee.

Meanwhile a historic farmhouse on the site where the DIY complex will be built, just off the main Qormi roundabout, will be relocated on the roof of the retail centre to serve as a ‘security residence’ complete with kitchen and bedroom for security guards.

An underlying Roman tomb will be roofed over and integrated within the new complex in Qormi so that it remains visible to the public as a heritage feature. Laminated structural glazing will be installed on the upper floor, directly overlying the historic tomb.

The project includes two levels of underground car park for 560 car park spaces and ground parking for 70 cars. The retail and DIY centre will be constructed over two levels.

The integration of the tomb in the commercial complex was approved by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage in October 2016. The Superintendence also approved the relocation of parts of the Knights-era farmhouse, which will be restored and reconstructed. The structure has historic value and included an original coat of arms believed to represent Grand Master Manuel Pinto de Fonseca, who was elected to lead the Order of St John in 1741.

In January, the Planning Authority stopped works after it transpired that works were undertaken before it had even assessed and approved the restoration method statements.

The DIY retail complex is being proposed by Centre Park Holdings, a company owned by Paul Caruana’s Quality Holdings, Anthony Fenech’s Tum Invest and V&C Developments, which is owned by Charles and Vincent Borg.

The PA’s design advisory committee has asked the developers to decide whether the roof will serve as a “green roof” or an “accessible public landscaped garden.”

The zoning of the land in question was originally designated for warehousing but was changed to accommodate an old people’s home and public community facilities in August 2013, when the site belonged to another owner. Back then, the old corner building on site had to be conserved as a community centre and the area above the development was to be retained as open space.

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