Opposition disagrees with Fortina land valuation

Fortina will pay €8.1 million to the government to have a condition on land it owns in Sliema lifted

The Fortina Group has a planning permit to redevelop its old hotel into a mixed-use development incorporating offices, commercial outlets and residences
The Fortina Group has a planning permit to redevelop its old hotel into a mixed-use development incorporating offices, commercial outlets and residences

The Opposition has disagreed with the €8.1 million valuation proposed by the government to lift a condition on land owned by the Fortina Group in Sliema.

The proposal was discussed this morning in Parliament’s National Audit Committee. Opposition MPs Beppe Fenech Adami and Ryan Callus voted against the proposed sum Fortina will be expected to pay, which means that the resolution will now go to the plenary for a debate and a vote.

Part of the land on the Sliema seafront, which Fortina had acquired from the government in the 1990s had a condition imposed on it to be used for tourism purposes.

The company is redeveloping the site where the old hotel stood into an office block with commercial and residential units.

The company asked for the condition to be lifted and a valuation carried out by the Lands Authority set a price of €8.1 million.

Fortina disagreed with the price, insisting the valuation does not reflect the market value of the landlocked piece of land but nonetheless accepted it.

During the parliamentary committee, Fenech Adami said the valuation was based on the lifting of one condition when in effect other obligations were being removed.

He said the Opposition also had reservations on the terms imposed for the payment, which allowed Fortina to pay the amount over a 10-year period.

Callus said the Opposition disagreed with the valuation and would oppose the agreement.

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