The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Government approves new policy framework for Selmun area

Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 09:33 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Government has approved a new planning policy framework for the site currently occupied by the Selmun Palace Hotel in Mellieha. This site specific policy which was drafted by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) seeks to ensure that this prime tourism site does not fall into disrepair with the consequent unwelcome detriment to its important historic and cultural context but can potentially give new life to this site.

The new policy establishes a set of important criteria for the potential redevelopment of this site which covers an area of around 2.9 hectares namely that the site remains for tourism use, it is planned and developed comprehensively and the development density shall be strictly limited to the areas and volumes established in this policy.

The policy favourably considers the rehabilitation of the existing hotel buildings and/or their redevelopment so long as the layout shall broadly retain the position and orientation of the existing hotel building. The relocation and consolidation of the outbuildings may be considered provided they are not worthy of protection and do not adversely affect the setting of the scheduled Grade I Palace.

A new additional wing will be considered favourably only if the new wing is located within the area indicated within the policy.

The approved policy framework only allows for a complete redesign of the existing layout in the exceptional circumstances where the end product is of such high quality that it merits consideration outside the provisions of this criterion. The other provisions of this policy shall still need to be followed by the design of the scheme for both situations and would need to be supported by a proper visual and landscape assessment.

While any development proposal shall never exceed the overall height of the existing main hotel building, the policy encourages that the monolithic appearance of the existing building will be broken by the creative use of architectural elements, different colour schemes and materials.

The policy is also obliging any potential investors to restore and rehabilitate the Grade 1 scheduled palace and make a one-time, lump sum, monetary contribution, to a fund administered by the Authority aimed at the enhancement of public access and enjoyment of the countryside and for the purpose of other community projects in the locality.The approved planning policy together with the relevant maps and the submissions received from the public during the 6 week public consultation phase may be view on the MEPA website www.mepa.org.mt.

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