Five-storey home near 17th century chapel 'totally unacceptable'

Superintendence objects to five-storey home for the elderly in Zebbug

The heritage authority warned that the proposed height clearly exceeds any existing commitments and will create extensive blank party walls
The heritage authority warned that the proposed height clearly exceeds any existing commitments and will create extensive blank party walls

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has described a proposed five-storey commercial complex and old people’s home at Tal-Grazzja in Zebbug, just 40 metres away from a 17th century chapel, as “excessive and inappropriate” and “totally unacceptable.”

Nearly 300 residents have already sent their objections to the controversial project proposed by developer Jean Borg on the site of the Tal Kaprat winery, which forms part of Zebbug’s Urban Conservation Area and is characterised by two-storey houses.

The development also includes eight shops at ground floor level.

A policy approved in 2017 allows the development of two extra storeys above height limitations when developments include homes for the elderly. The policy is also applicable in UCAs. But the Superintendence contends that the development is in breach of design guidelines for urban developments issued in 2015.

The heritage authority warned that the proposed height clearly exceeds any existing commitments and will create extensive blank party walls
The Superintendence is also objecting to the proposed demolition of the façade and construction of five floors within a UCA, which would create a new dominant height, extensive blank party walls and adversely affect the character of the UCA. “The proposed design, volume and massing is totally unacceptable,” the SCH said.

Zebbug mayor Malcolm Paul Galea was one of those who vociferously opposed the proposed project. He appealed to residents to join forces to oppose turning the Kaprat winery into an old people’s home, with more than 1,700sq.m of floor space. Independent councillor Steve Zammit Lupi has also objected.

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