Court blocks demolition of 150-year-old Sliema house

FAA campaigned to have permit for eight-storey apartment building refused

A court has blocked the demolition of a two-storey house in St Mary Street, Sliema built in 1861.

A planning application to build a narrow, eight-storey hotel on the site of a 150-year house in St Mary’s Street, had been refused by the Planning Authority following a campaign by Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar to save the streetscape of one of Sliema’s oldest streets.

“This narrow street is often gridlocked, and another hotel in this row of untouched old houses would have further impacted the quality of life of local residents,” spokesperson Astrid Vella said.

The PA’s appeals tribunal had however overturned the refusal and the development was set to happen.

A court appeal by FAA resulted in the application being finally quashed.

“The verdict of the Court of Appeal stating that the appeal is well-founded, is a very welcome judgement for a number of reasons: not only will the facade and height of the old house be spared, along with the residents’ quality of life, but the various important points upheld by the court may now serve as a precedent to challenge other damaging projects,” Vella said.

St Mary Street is a rarity in that many of its historic buildings have been preserved thanks to the Urban Conservation Area (UCA) policy. However following developers’ pressure, the street’s UCA protection street was removed.

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