Iconic Balzan townhouse set to be demolished

The charming town of Balzan is set to lose another of its typical townhouses, with developers planning to replace it with an apartment block.

A planning application is proposing the full demolition of a prominent traditional building, which stands at the end of Triq Papa Piju XII, a street consisting of typical townhouses which is still untouched by development. The building also abuts on the abandoned Dolphin supermarket along Triq il-Kbira.

The application foresees the demolition of existing two storey structure  and the construction of 12 apartments at ground, first, second and third floor and of two additional apartments at receded floor. Two underlying levels of underground parking will accommodate 16 parking spaces.

The house used to be the residence of former Finance Minister and disgraced EU commissioner John Dalli and has been abandoned for a number of years.  The application in question was presented by Mario Falzon, who declared full ownership of the property in the application. A previous application to demolish the building and replace it by apartments presented by Falzon in 2003 had been refused by the PA in 2005.

The building is described by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage as a mid-twentieth century traditional building, which “may have architectural features warranting preservation and which will need to be integrated into the proposed development”. To ascertain this the superintendence will be holding a site inspection and has asked the developer to present a photographic survey of the building.

Din l-Art Helwa and Flimkien Ghall Ambjent Ahjar have both objected to the development.

Din l-Art Helwa is insisting that any additions made to the building should integrate well with the existing architecture and its surrounding townhouses.

The property is not included in Balzan’s Urban Conservation Area and is therefore not protected from demolition.

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