Piecemeal application proposes extra floor to former Imperial Hotel

Extra floor proposed on the former Imperial Hotel in Sliema over and above an additional third floor approved in March 2017 

An extra floor is being proposed on the former Imperial hotel in Sliema over and above an additional third floor approved in March 2017 when the Planning Authority approved the transformation of the hotel into a 171-room old people’s home.

The developers had already proposed a receded floor at the initial phases of the application presented in 2016 but the proposal was later dropped to minimise the visual impact. The Sliema council had dropped its objections after this change in plans.

The site falls in an area where the height limitation is two floors but the addition of a new floor was approved as this was deemed to conform with development guidelines issued in 2015 which call for a more ‘contextual approach’ to building heights.

The latest application foresees a new fourth level which will include a lounge area, utility rooms for storage and 29 bedrooms. It also proposes utility rooms on the fifth level which will include a roof garden and a seating area.

The latest application also foresees the sanctioning of two additional underground levels, one used as a reservoir and another one to include parking spaces for 41 cars – which have already been excavated. As approved the project already included two levels of underground parking.

As originally approved the entire façade of the historical building is to be retained. The new application only foresees a slight modification to the façade by removing two columns which “did not form part of the original design” of the building.

The new development is being carried out by Edward Vella’s Goldvest Company Ltd.

The Victorian building dates back to 1865. The front part of the site overlooking Rudolph street is proposed for Grade 2 scheduling. Originally the structure was built as a Villa for an 18th century Maltese nobleman and was subsequently used as the Hunting Lodge for the British Governors before its transformation into a hotel.

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