The fate of a 19th century stately townhouse in the heart of Sliema lies in the hands of the Planning Commission. In a decision which is expected to be taken on the 16th November, the PA will decide whether to allow the building that forms part of a row of houses built by the clergy in the 1880’s and in fact after which the street is named, to be turned into a monotonous apartment block.

Last January, FAA had criticized the development which originally sought the entire demolition of this prestigious building, opting only to retain its facade pathetically dwarfed under four additional floors. In response to the criticism and as a miserable attempt to ease heritage concerns, the applicant revised the proposal, demolishing portions of the site. However the applicant is still insisting on the development of four additional floors towering above the original building as well as a 6-storey development instead of its mature back garden.

FAA:”The stately townhouse and garden will be engulfed by a concrete block, morphed beyond recognition, with the retention of its fabric serving as nothing more than a token measure to justify this abusive attempt to develop this heritage property”

The Superintendent recommended a refusal of the development, and went on to call for its scheduling as well as that of the row of adjacent properties equally described as warranting protection.

The Planning Directorate has recommended the refusal of this application for various reasons, among them, its infringement of the permissible building height in village cores, its negative impact on this area’s character and its infringement of the need to rehabilitate and restore buildings of heritage value.

FAA urges the Planning Commission to take on the recommendations of the Superintendence and the Planning Directorate to not only ensure the protection of this property and those in its immediate vicinity, but also to ensure the true relevancy of the planning process and its consultants.

The FAA Committee

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