The Malta Independent 13 November 2019, Wednesday

PM’s lawyer Pawlu Lia suspends controversial Valletta application

Friday, 8 November 2019, 07:59 Last update: about 5 days ago

The Prime Minister’s lawyer, Pawlu Lia, has suspended a controversial application to expand his Valletta offices.

The site is located within the limits to development and within the Urban Conservation Area of Valletta. It is located on the corner of Old Bakery street and Old Theatre Street, an 18th century Valletta building.

The application had raised eyebrows, criticism and concern.

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But according to the Planning Authority’s server, the application has now been suspended, with a note on the application reading, “Application processing is currently suspended at the perit’s [architect’s] request.”

The processing of the application could simply mean it has been placed on the backburner until things cool down, or the plans may be in the process of being reworked to render them more palatable.

Back in 2017, Lia had filed an application to extend the third floor of the building in question, while also constructing a fourth floor and a receding floor above that.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage had said that the building proposed for development is an eighteenth century building of historical and architectural significance.

The Superintendence had said that the proposed extension will create a new building height on the streetscape overlooking Old Bakery Street. "This will create a blank third party wall which will affect negatively the existing views of the streetscape when seen along this road and encourage further vertical development in the immediate area."

It is unclear whether, by the end of that application, the Superintendence had proposed that the application be approved or not as the last documentation on this subject reads: "The Superintendence will be submitting additional comments to the Planning Authority once these discussions are concluded. Pending conclusion of discussions, this development application should be refused."

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