The Malta Independent 13 December 2018, Thursday

Application to rebuild and raise Qawra hotel by number of levels approved

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 6 December 2018, 11:41 Last update: about 7 days ago

A planning application to rebuild and raise the Seaview Hotel in St Paul’s Bay was unanimously approved by the board members present at today’s Planning Authority meeting.

This application sought to redevelop the Seaview Hotel in order to upgrade the existing facility and include additional floors to accommodate a total number of 179 rooms and parking levels with access from the proposed widening of the existing tunnel below the road. Previous designs envisaged a higher building than was finally proposed, the presentation by the Planning directorate during the board meeting showed.

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The site includes circa 1,500square metres (sqm) of land having frontages along Triq it-Trunciera, Triq l-Imsell and Triq il-Lacci including an existing tunnel below the promenade within the development zone of Qawra, St Pauls Bay.

Two underground levels for the project are envisaged, and will contain 46 parking spaces, and a gym with an indoor pool. The lower ground level will contain the reception, cafeteria, restaurant and multipurpose hall, while an upper ground level will contain a restaurant and bar. Levels one to eight will house the hotel rooms. There will also be a rooftop pool.

The original proposal included a beach concession, however during the PA Board meeting, it was made clear that this idea was scrapped and the application no longer included it.

ERA Chief Victor Asciak also said he was preoccupied with the height’s effect on the rest of the tourism zone behind the hotel, more inland. He questioned whether leaving medium rises will negatively affect the tourism zone. PA Executive Chairman Johann Buttigieg said however, that the Malta Tourism Authority raised no such concern on the issue, and said that it is the competent authority in relation to that. Asciak said that if the MTA considered that, then there is no problem.

As regards parking, the proposed development includes 131 new hotel rooms (proposed 180 rooms – existing 49 rooms). The report had read that only 44 car parking spaces are being considered appropriate since two parking spaces are not in line with standards. Thus, the proposed development includes an under provision of 12 car parking spaces. "Considering the above, it is noted that the under provision can be addressed through the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme,” the case officer's report read.

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