Fomm ir-Rih hamlet eyed for tourism project

Paul Vella's Ballut Blocks is proposing a tourist accomodation project over 1,666sq.m of land leading to the picturesque Fomm ir-Rih beach

The area being proposed for development
The area being proposed for development

An extensive tourist accommodation project over a built-up footprint of 1,666sq.m is being proposed by Paul Vella’s Ballut Blocks, instead of the rural Tal-Abatija hamlet along the road leading to the picturesque Fomm ir-Rih beach, just 450m from the proposed development.

Plans presented by architect Ray Demicoli envisage the new buildings retaining practically the same footprint of the existing buildings, some of them roofless or in a dilapidated state. Others have a residential use or are used as agricultural stores.

But the change of use to “agri-tourism accommodation” is bound to increase pressures on one of Malta’s most secluded beaches, which remains off the beaten track. The plans, as proposed, do not envisage any new access to the beach.

The application foresees the consolidation and restoration of the existing vernacular structures, which predate 1978, and the demolition of modern accretions.

As proposed, the development will include 16 large suites, of variable size between 30sq.m and 80sq.m, a reception, kitchen and breakfast area over 329sq.m and a 50sq.m swimming pool. All buildings will be limited in height to one floor. Plans envisage the growing of a large number of trees to screen the development.

The area where the new tourist development is being proposed outside development zones is an area designated as a rural hamlet where no new development, involving the take-up of fresh land, is allowed.

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