Iconic Balzan villa slated for demolition for 71 parking spaces

The development of the car park on 1,970sq.m of land envisages the felling of 54 fruit trees in the villa’s surrounding garden

The Balzan villa’s extensive gardens will be turned into a car park to cater for the needs of the supermarket opposite
The Balzan villa’s extensive gardens will be turned into a car park to cater for the needs of the supermarket opposite

Villa Moira, an iconic Balzan villa built in a modernist style of architecture, is being proposed for demolition to make way for 71 parking spaces.

The development of the car park on 1,970sq.m of land envisages the felling of 54 fruit trees in the villa’s surrounding garden.

The parking is being proposed by Smart Moves Ltd which owns the supermarket located opposite the villa.

The developers had already presented plans to demolish the existing villa in 2016 with the aim of providing a temporary street level car park during the redevelopment of the supermarket, for which an application is still pending.

The application which was withdrawn by the applicant had been recommended for refusal by the case officer.

The Environment Resources Authority had not objected despite the proposed uprooting of 54 fruit trees which are not protected by law.

The villa was described by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage as one “built to a design that mirrors the typical architectural style that was prevalent in the late 1950s or early 1960s”.  But it did not object to its demolition.

However, the case officer concluded that the application was premature and should only be considered as part of the construction management plan for the reconstruction of the adjacent supermarket.

The proposed redevelopment of Smart Shopping Complex foresees the phased demolition of the existing buildings and the development of five car park levels, a supermarket, retail and catering outlets and a bakery. An environmental planning statement for this development had been presented in 2010. But a new application was presented in 2016 after the number of proposed shops was reduced.

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