Planning Authority denies itself permit for bastion incision

The Planning Authority has denied itself permission to make an incision within the bastions housing its own offices

The Planning Authority has denied itself permission to make an incision within the bastions housing its own offices, to accommodate access to the car park from the its enforcement directorate block.

The PA’s case officer was recommending approval but the PA”s planning commission, chaired by Elizabeth Ellul, had asked for 'clearance' from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (SCH) for the breach in the bastions. But the clearance was not forthcoming.

Flimkien Ghall-Ambjent Ahjar had warned that if approved, this application will set a precedent for “anyone to start hacking away at the bastions and to hollow them out from within to provide access.”

The organisation warned that the integrity of Grade 1 Scheduled buildings must be respected fully and not “impinged upon by interventions which damage and distort the physical and material fabric of these historical gems.”

The proposal also foresaw the demolition of the Planning Authority’s current enforcement directorate block whilst retaining the external facade, and the construction of a receded additional floor.

The proposed setback floor would exceed the height of the existing buildings forming part of the Planning Authority complex, which are all two floors high. This means that it would slightly exceed the height of the bastion walls opposite the premises, but not the height of the Capuchin Chapel located on top of the bastion walls.

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