Halland Hotel to be demolished and replaced with 71-apartment complex

Halland Hotel set to be replaced by a residential complex built to the same height of the existing structure

The proposal will now include 71 residential units. consisting of 61 three-bedroom units, seven two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units
The proposal will now include 71 residential units. consisting of 61 three-bedroom units, seven two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units

The Halland Hotel in Ibragg, which rose above the surrounding villas thanks to permits issued in the 1960s and 1970s, is set to be replaced by a residential complex, built to the same height of the existing structure.

The Planning Authority’s case officer is recommending the approval of the application presented by the Tumas Group and a decision will be taken by the Planning Board five days before Christmas.

The area had already been designated for residential development in the local plan approved in 2006.

The development overlooks Wied il-Kbir in Ibrag, which is an Area of Ecological Importance and a Site of Scientific Importance. The hotel was originally limited to five storeys when originally permitted in 1968, but an additional floor was added through a permit issued in 1979.

The proposal will now include 71 residential units. consisting of 61 three-bedroom units, seven two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units.

The case officer has deemed the design of the new building acceptable noting that the overall result will consist “of a waved replacement building with setbacks in each floor overlooking on Wied il-Kbir, which is acceptable from an aesthetic point of view.”

The PA’s design advisory committee had also described the new design as an improvement over the existing one.

The original plans had also included an area further down from the site, facing on Triq l-Ibrag and onto the valley, which is outside development zones. But following objections by the St Julian’s, San Gwann and Swieqi local councils, this part of the proposal was eliminated and the development was limited to the area of the present hotel. Plans for a gymnasium and multi-purpose hall at the entrance level of the proposed apartments were also eliminated.

In its objection the Swieqi local council noted that the structure had been granted a height above that allowed for villa development as a reflection of its use as a hotel. “The present application seeks to revert the use and therefore the concessions acquired over time related to hotel use have now become irrelevant”.

The council insisted that the development should stick to the five floors limit applicable to existing residences.

It also described the increase of 394 residents in the area as a serious case of overdevelopment noting that such a high density should not be allowed within a villa area.

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