A local Rabat resident has told Newsbook.com.mt that while they are saddened by the news that the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has dropped its objection to a boutique hotel on Saqqajja road, the protests will continue.
The local resident who preferred not to be named, explained that SCH’s decision was disappointing given the impact the proposed development would have on the buildings and the street.
However, they expressed positivity that the decision to place a bar in the garden had been stopped, thus preventing disruption in the avenue behind.
‘We support the council and its determination to continue objecting to this development,’ the resident explained.
They added that there is expected to be a speech by the Mayor of Rabat Mr Sandro Craus tomorrow outside St Mark’s Church tomorrow, about the objections. Newsbook.com.mt has attempted to contact the Mayor for comment and for details surrounding the event tomorrow.
Rabat Mayor says council will continue objecting to boutique hotel
While the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage has given its blessing to a boutique hotel in Rabat, the Local Mayor Sandro Craus says the local council will continue objecting to its development.
In a report on the Times of Malta today, the Mayor said that it was ‘unacceptable’ that the proposal was still ongoing and that the council would be fighting, ‘tooth and nail’ against it.
Newsbook.com.mt has been following the story of the proposed 30-room boutique hotel proposal on Saqqajja, since December last year.
Within the time between then and this new development, Newsbook.com.mt the former Mayor Charles Azzopardi had vociferously objected, saying that the project would be conducted ‘over my dead body.’
Social media helped to spread news of the project with over a few thousand objections raised from local residents, the local council and NGOs concerned about its impact on the building and the area. There isn’t an accurate figure on the total number of objections raised. In April, the Planning Authority had explained that there had been around 4,500 objections. The architect explained this had been closer to 3,000. They added that of those, 5 had contained genuine concerns.
When interviewed, the developer and architect explained that the public had been ‘misled’ about the project. Local residents fervently denied that this had been the case, instead saying that they were fully aware of what the developer wanted to do and they would do their upmost to non-violently disrupt the project if it got the go-ahead.
Removing the pool
According to the Times article, a report filed with the Planning Authority showed that SCH had looked more favourably on the plan once the developers had removed the rooftop pool proposal from the plan.
The scaled down proposals for the hotel encouraged SCH to remove their objection.
The Mayor said that while there is a need for investment in the area and for a boutique hotel, ‘it would need to respect the area. We are against the demolition of the interior. The houses should be restored and turned into a boutique hotel which respects the surroundings. Let us not repeat the mistakes done in Sliema where historic houses had facades retained and extra floors added. In some cases, they’re a sight for sore eyes,’ Craus told the Times.