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Plans are being submitted for a hotel near Gozo’s Ċittadella

Vaseline 1 month ago

A company owned by Sterling Jewelers has submitted plans to convert its store right opposite Gozo’s Ċittadella into a four-star hotel with 40 rooms.

The proposed six-story project, which includes a setback floor for a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Grade 1 historic site, will replace a guesthouse that the Planning Commission quietly approved in May 2018, despite a recommendation for denial.

Romina Grech Fenech, on behalf of Sterling Properties Limited, is seeking permission to develop the hotel after the permit for the guesthouse approved by the committee expired last June.

The application was submitted to the Planning Authority last month and is currently in the initial vetting phase. The plans were drawn up by architect and mayor of Mosta, Chris Grech.

The new proposal includes “partial excavation to the required levels”, as well as internal and external changes to the layout of the approved guest accommodation to accommodate guest rooms and associated facilities, including a restaurant.

The project is adjacent to Triq Sir Adrian Dingli, Triq il-Kastell and Triq it-Telgħa Tal-Belt in Victoria’s city centre. The hotel will include a multi-purpose hall, an indoor swimming pool with spa services and additional facilities, massage rooms, 34 guest rooms and six suites, with a total of 84 beds. The project includes a jewelry store and a hairdresser on the ground floor.

The top floor suites will have terraces with a jacuzzi. Most rooms overlook a courtyard, which has a retractable skylight on the top floor.

The PA case officer had recommended the refusal of planning permission for the guesthouse on the grounds that the proposed height of the development was contrary to planning policy contained in the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development, which promotes a context-driven approach to monitoring the building heights within urban nature reserves to protect the traditional skyline.

He had also recommended a denial because it conflicted with other policies that require building heights to be based on a streetscape analysis so as not to create an unacceptable visual impact.

However, the committee ignored these recommendations, including stating that no approval had been received from the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage.

The new plans have already been assessed by the Malta Tourism Authority, which found no objections as the proposal still fell within the parameters of the tourism compliance certificate it issued in February, allowing Sterling Properties to go ahead and submit its planning application for the hotel .