The Malta Independent 23 September 2021, Thursday

Development will not compromise Naxxar village core - Mepa

Malta Independent Sunday, 27 October 2013, 08:00 Last update: about 8 years ago

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority insisted yesterday that this week’s controversial and unanimous Mepa Board decision to allow the demolition and reconstruction of two of the three properties within Naxxar’s village core “will not compromise the character and integrity of this urban conservation area”.  

It also pointed out that: “Neglecting the need to regenerate and revive our village cores can only result in further burdening the vacant property situation and creating streetscapes of dilapidated buildings.”

Mepa said yesterday that after thoroughly considering the applications and requesting the applicant to carry out a number of amendments, the Board reached the decision that two of the three properties, which are situated in close proximity, but not adjacent, to each other, could be demolished while the façade of a prominent property adjacent to the parish church had, in its majority, to be retained.

The Board also constrained the applicant to remove the basement levels from the properties nearer the Church and also improve the façades’ design, making them consonant to those seen in our villages.

Mepa also stressed that the Board was fully aware of advice from the Heritage Advisory Committee, and that it had been sensitive to the policies that regulate development in village cores.

“In the case of these applications,” Mepa explained, “the Board adopted a healthy and holistic approach, ensuring that the character and integrity of the area is not compromised. All the buildings are to retain the two-storey streetscape and the quality design of the buildings will improve the streetscapes that already exist today.”

Mepa noted that Board members agreed that not all old buildings merit conservation, explaining: “Some are in such a dilapidated state and do not possess any architectural conservation value that they do not lend themselves to the current social and economic needs. Keeping them as vacant ‘antique’ objects goes against the principle of regenerating our towns and villages through sustainable conservation.”

The Board also felt that the sustainable conservation and regeneration of the country’s village cores “is all about finding the right balance between the preservation of our heritage and its adaptation to meet current needs without compromising historical integrity.

“While the conservation of our village cores should remain a high priority if we are to retain our architectural identity, conservation needs to be managed in the light of promoting the regeneration of these areas.”

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