Two new floors proposed on protected Paceville townhouse

Two new storeys are being proposed on one of Paceville’s unique protected buildings earmarked for a hotel in Wilga Street.

The Planning Directorate called on the Planning Authority Board to reject the proposed works, described as being “out of context” in a row of Grade 2 protected buildings.

The  controversial development could have been rejected in June, but the PA’s Environment and Planning Commission (the board that meets daily to decide on minor permits) decided to pass the buck to the the PA’s highest decision making organ – the Planning Board – which will be meeting to discuss the application on 11 January.

The application seeks permission for the change of use of an existing dwelling into a 17 room  guesthouse, to extend the existing second floor level, to construct an additional floor and a receded uppermost level. The facade of the building will be retained.

The existing dwelling, constructed in the early 20th century, forms part of a row of similar terraced houses, all of which are protected through Grade 2 scheduling.

Planning policies state permission to demolish such buildings should not to be given, but over the past months the PA has approved a number of projects which foresee the addition of extra floors on protected buildings. A recently approved policy on old people’s homes actually proposes the addition of two floors on scheduled buildings.

Alterations to the interior may be allowed if proposed to be carried out “sensitively and causing the least detriment to the character and architectural homogeneity of the building.”

The Design Advisory Committee has also objected as the development would result in the creation of two blank party walls.

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has objected to the total demolition of the internal fabric. Furthermore, “the proposed increase in height will alter the façade of the scheduled property, with a consequent impact on the streetscape and on the adjacent scheduled properties”.

The townhouses are already dwarfed by the Vivaldi hotel located behind them.

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