The Malta Independent 24 April 2019, Wednesday

PA Board gives go ahead for large residential development in Mellieha

Thursday, 21 March 2019, 14:23 Last update: about 2 months ago

The PA Board has approved an application proposing the construction of a hotel, shops and 120 residential unit development over eight stories, despite arguments over the interpretation of policy.

While the case officer had recommended refusal, the majority of board members indicated their intention to overturn the recommendation and approve the project in a previous sitting. The final vote was taken today.

The proposal consists of two basement levels and nine levels (including ground floor) above ground from one of the sides. The building is stepped and only a small part would be that high. The site consists of a vacant plot of land, having an area of approximately 3,680m² within and at the edge of the development zone in Mellieha. The site falls just off the roundabout leading vehicular traffic to either the Mellieha Centre (Triq il-Kbira) or to the Mellieha Bypass (Triq Louis Wettinger), the case officer’s report read.

The site in question is fully zoned as a residential area on the local plan, the board heard. The planning directorate argued that a hotel can still be built on the site as Mellieha is a tourism locality, and thus such development is allowed through the flexibility policy.“Following the approval of the ‘Partial Review of Subsidiary Plans – General Policy relating to regeneration/consolidation Initiatives’, on 4 February 2013, the Planning Directorate could take a broader look at the overall mixture and similar uses in this area but with a more flexible approach than that implied by the uses listed in the local plan,” the case officer’s report read. The applicant highlighted that the hotel will be for around 47 rooms.

PN MP Robert Cutajar out against the proposal, representing his dristrict. However, in the initial vote a couple of weeks ago, PN member on the board, Marthese Portelli, voted in favour of overturning the refusal recommendation. She was not there today for the final vote. The PL Member on the Board Clayton Bartolo had done the same in the initial sitting.

Architect Carmel Cacopardo had also argued that the proposal went against policy.

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