24-room hotel proposed inside Lija’s village core

The development will rise to four floors when overlooking the ODZ and three floors on the urban conservation area presently characterised by two-storey houses

A vernacular old farm building, located within Lija’s Urban Conservation Area of Lija in Triq Merino is being proposed for demolition to make way for a 24-room hotel proposed by CFA Limited.

The development protrudes outside the development zone boundary to make way for a swimming pool, a storeroom and  showers.  The ODZ fields where this landscaped development is being proposed separate the residential area from the Mosta Road and the Blokrete factory.

If approved, the proposed development will rise to four floors when overlooking the ODZ and to three floors on the urban conservation area presently characterised by two-storey houses.

The Lija local council contends that the development which includes no parking facilities would aggravate parking problems in the area and has deemed the height of the project excessive.

More than 60 residents are objecting to the proposed hotel. Most have referred to parking and traffic problems noting that there are presently only 16 parking bays in this square.  

Others have expressed concern on the loss of tranquility and the dangers of creating a precedent for the commercialisation of the residential area.

The Environment and Resources Authority has already expressed its concern on any development which extends beyond the limit of the development zone.

“Such interventions beyond the limit of the development zone would result in additional urban sprawl leading to undesirable scheme extension which would potentially commit further undeveloped land for ancillary interventions”.

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has expressed concern that the development will create new blank party walls on both sides of the property in question.
 

Moreover the SCH is against the total demolition of the farm building, noting that it includes architectural and masonry features like kileb, xoroq tal-qasba, raffijiet and xorok, which should be integrated in the new development.  It also recommended that an animal manger and a fodder store are retained.

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