Balzan residents have filed objections to a proposed development in Vjal de Paule seeking permission to demolish a two-storey house to convert it into a four-storey mixed-use complex with 60 basement garage spaces.
The proposed development, located opposite the Corinthia Hotel, is on an iconic street in Balzan / Attard that leads to San Anton Gardens. Most objections filed so far have highlighted the policies meant to preserve the integrity of the predominantly residential streetscape. The application envisages a full-scale catering establishment on its ground floor, with the other three floors consisting of offices.
If approved, the ground floor would include a bar area, a swimming pool, an industrial-grade kitchen including cold and dry storage facilities, food preparation areas, and a separate section for cooking, washing and serving.
One of the objectors described the application as “downright disingenuous and false”, pointing out that while it is being presented as an office complex, the application resembles “a sizeable catering establishment and events venue” far more than it does an office space.
The application PA/3682/22 was filed by Anthony Spiteri on behalf of Tal-Herba Environment Ltd. Anthony Spiteri is the sole shareholder of the company. The architect is Karl Ebejer.
Residents expressed concerns about the size of the development and how it would allow for a large entertainment venue in a Residential Priority Demarcation zone, where commercial development should not be considered.
Objectors described the application in question as an attempt to circumvent a previous Planning Control (PC) application that sought to overturn the protection bestowed by the Residential Priority Demarcation. The PC application was rejected by the Planning Authority (PA) in 2017.
Objectors also flagged the building height being proposed, arguing that it supersedes the height of buildings in the same area, which runs counter to the policies of the Local Plan.
Citing similar reasons, NGO Moviment Graffitti also filed an objection to the proposed development, calling on the PA to refuse the application altogether.
The closing date for objections is 1 July. The application is still waiting for a recommendation from a case officer. The total site area would take up 1,108 square metres of land.
Correction: The original report erroneously stated that the application was filed by Tal-Herba Group, rebranded to TH Group, instead of Tal-Herba Environment Ltd.