FAA strongly opposes demolition of Grade 2 scheduled property in Msida

Image 1 – No 199, Marina Street façade showing single continuous corbel supporting timber balcony

Date: 19thAugust 2016
PA  Reference: PA 04347/16
Site Location: 199, Triq Marina, Msida

 

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar is hereby submitting its objection to PA 04347/16, for the reasons listed hereunder and others it may submit at a later stage.

  1. The building pertaining to this permit is listed as a Grade 2 scheduled property due to its architectural and historic value. The propertyis a pre-19th century townhouse as evidenced by the single continuous corbel balcony supports. Such corbelling was used in the earlier half of Valletta’s construction and can in fact mainly be seen around the area of St. Ursula Street and in older parts of Lija, Attard and Zebbug. The property furthermore forms part of a well-preserved row of protected scheduled houses thattogether serve as an invaluable typology of this historic seafront streetscape.
  1. By proposing a multi-storey development in the heart of a stretch of well-preserved protected 2 storey properties, the application will have an irreversible negative impact on the existing historic streetscape.
  1. Furthermore, the approval of the additional floors will set a precedent for neighbouring properties that will result in the complete ruin of the 5 adjacent scheduled historic buildings.

 

msida2

Image 2 – Nos 198-203, Marina Street – Row of protected scheduled properties

  1. The applicant is obliged to provide a concise internal photographic survey of the property in order to deduce whether or not there are any existing features of eminent value worthy of retention. Given that in contravention to dc15 P5, the applicant has made no attempt to retain any of the internal features and proposed its complete internal demolition, it is detrimental that such information is in hand before the application is processed further.
  1. SPED Article 2.27 notes that “Malta’s built heritage and archaeological remains are a significant component of our cultural heritage. Our high population density and dynamic urban environment however continue to pose difficulties to conservation objectives. These elements of cultural heritage remain under threat from demolition, inappropriate design and use of new and restored buildings which undermines street character. Unless legally protected, buildings and structures of historical and archaeological value, particularly at sea, remain vulnerable to development pressures and human activities”.

In line with the SPED, this property and those in its immediate surroundings, have already been rightly recognized by the competent authority as being buildings of historic and architectural value, therefore entailing that they are now protected accordingly.

Given the above, FAA strongly opposes this application and calls upon the competent authority to uphold its duty to safeguard our shared heritage and protect this historic building, and in turn protect those in its immediate vicinty for the good of future generations.

Since our objection is being made within the stipulated period FAA requests:

 

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