Proposed Jerma hotel in Marsaskala to rise to 14 storeys

Developers have submitted plans for the construction of a hotel, residences and retail space on the site of the Jerma hotel in Marsascala that will see the building rise 65.5 metres from road level • The project envisages a public park around St Thomas Tower

The Jerma hotel is now a derelict building that developers want to rebuild into a 14-storey hotel and adjacent apartment block
The Jerma hotel is now a derelict building that developers want to rebuild into a 14-storey hotel and adjacent apartment block

Porto Notos has formally presented its plans for the Jerma site, which include a 13-storey high hotel and an adjacent mixed use development consisting of commercial and retail spaces at ground floor and 12 floors of overlying residential units.

The company is owned by Charles Camilleri and lawyer Pierre Lofaro.

The developers are also proposing a roof top restaurant on the hotel’s penthouse level which effectively increases the hotel’s height to 14 floors. Plans suggest that the project will reach a maximum height of 65.5 meters from road level.

The application envisages an extension of the landscaped area around Torri San Tumas to create a public park and the construction of a public space above the proposed underground parking to extend the existing promenade.

Also proposed are a chapel, a beach lido with pool and catering facilities.

Marsaskala was not among the localities identified in the policy regulating high buildings of over 10 storeys. The locality was in fact identified for medium rise development which is less than 10 storeys.

But the policy regulating hotel heights permits the development of high rise hotels irrespective of the height of the hotel.

Plans for the development have already been presented to the local council.

In a vote taken during a local council meeting last December only independent councillor Charlot Cassar, a former PN councillor, voted against the proposed development, while Labour deputy mayor Desiree Attard abstained.

Labour mayor Mario Calleja and the two other PN councillors voted in favour of the project in a rare show of cross party consensus.

The council was called to vote on a project which had not yet been submitted to the planning process, so any environmental studies on the impact of the development had not yet started.

The council was previously against the development of apartments on the site of the old Jerma Hotel in Marsaskala.

A letter sent by the council’s executive secretary to the Planning Authority in July 2015 stated that “the council is opposed to any application which includes the development of apartments”.

In 2016 the PA had issued an enforcement order to force the site's current owners - the Montebello Brothers - to demolish the dangerous structure.

This would have meant that the derelict building would have to be demolished before the authority issues any permit. But the enforcement order was revoked by the Planning Review Tribunal due to a technical error in the way the enforcement order was worded.

The PA has appealed against this decision.


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