Issuu on Google+

Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

--- REPRESENTATIONS ---

Local Council submitted an objection letter as per Red11.

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 1 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

--- NOTES TO COMMITTEE ---

1 - Representors have requested prior notification and wish to attend the meeting of the

DCC at which this application is to be determined. 1 - The original decision was based on plans Red 1B. The assessment of this

reconsideration report is based on the same drawings. 2 - In letter dated 31st October, 2008 (Red 65) the architect submitted comments on the

DPARR. The Directorate retains the comments made in DPARR. 2 - The architect's response to the Development Planning Application Report was

submitted on 1st April 2008. 3 - Site Inspection held on 18 November 2009

Board inspected site and considered proposal objectionable.

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 2 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

--- CASE OFFICER REPORT ---

THE PROPOSAL: This Outline Development Permit application seeks consent for the construction of residential units and underlying garages. The proposed development will be built on 3 levels having its main faรงade at Triq il-Hatem. Each level is to include 18 residential units each. No drawings have been submitted with regards to the garage level layout. SITE DESCRIPTION: The site forms part of existing villa dating back to the British Occupation period, and it is estimated to be 250 years old. The villa is better known as Palazzo Giannin. The large garden where the development is being proposed contains several trees, of which some are of great age. The area is surrounded by terraced houses development. According to the approved South Malta Local Plan (SMLP) the surrounding area is designated for the development of terraced houses with a height limitation of 3 floors and a penthouse level. POLICY CONTEXT: South Malta Local Plan: SMIA 10 Protection of Private Gardens and Open Space Enclaves in UCAs In the private gardens and open space enclaves, as indicated on the relevant Policy Maps, MEPA will not consider any new development or redevelopment proposals that create independent residential/non-residential units, including garages for the parking of vehicles. In the identified private gardens and open space enclaves, development proposals will be considered if they: i. Constitute an extension to an existing building aimed at increasing the amenity and enjoyment of the property; or ii. Form part of a conversion scheme aimed at bringing a disused or dilapidated building back into use, even if such a scheme will create new residential/non-residential units; or iii. Involve solely the construction or enlargement of a swimming pool together with its ancillary reservoir, pump room and paving or hard surfacing around the pool or such development if linked to (i) and (ii) above. In addition, the development proposals listed above will be considered provided that ALL the following conditions are abided to: a. the extensions under (i) and (ii) are physically attached with the existing main building and form an integral part of the main building; b. a plot depth of 25 m from the street frontage is allowed; c. the scale, bulk and design of the extensions under (i) and (ii), do not compromise the openness of the enclave and the architectural integrity of the existing building; d. the design, materials and colours of the swimming pool and paving are compatible with the character of the enclave; e. the take up of soil or planted areas, irrespective of the existing condition of such Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 3 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

areas, for the development permitted under (i), (ii) and (iii) above, should be minimal and in no case exceed 15% of the total soil and planted areas (but still within the 25 m plot depth); f. they do not adversely affect existing features which are worthy of retention, including tall/mature trees (such as oaks, conifers or palms), but consideration may be given in exceptional cases to the relocation of such features within the same open space provided the existing location is not an intrinsic part of the character of the open space and the relocation will not result in the destruction or serious alterations of the same feature. Development proposals in private gardens or those parts of the open space enclaves, which are scheduled or are part of a scheduled building, will be controlled by the Legal Notice giving statutory standing to such scheduling, together with all other policies relevant to such scheduling. Within those private gardens, indicated in the relevant Policy Maps as Private Gardens Meriting Protection, which either form part of buildings of cultural, historical or architectural value or which merit scheduling, and which have been zoned for terraced house development in the Temporary Provision Schemes 1988, MEPA will consider development proposals ONLY after an assessment of the garden is carried out to the satisfaction of MEPA, to determine the importance and value of the garden and its features and whether development may be permitted. Should some level of development be permitted MEPA will prepare development planning and design parameters to guide the development of the site in question, primarily in terms of site coverage, massing, landscaping, building heights, building design elements, etc. The provisions of Part B paras 2 and 3 of the Development Control within UCAs Design Guidance of 1995 are being replaced by this policy for the identified private gardens and open space enclaves.

Structure Plan Policies: BEN 1: "The development will not normally be permitted if the proposal is likely to have a deleterious impact on existing or planned adjacent uses..." BEN 2: "Development will not normally be permitted if it is incompatible with the good urban design, natural heritage, and environmental characteristics of existing or planned adjacent uses, and is not likely to maintain the good visual integrity of the area in which it is located..." TRA 2: promoters of major developments will be required to prepare traffic impact statements illustrating the likely impact of the proposal on the road network. TRA 4: "The following vehicle parking principles will be adopted in different areas for new development: 3. Rest of Malta : accommodating standards for all developments. BEN 4 & SET 8: Comprehensive review of the Temporary Provisions Schemes through the Local Plan medium. Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 4 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

INTERNAL CONSULTATION: Previously the Temporary Provisions Scheme (TPS) designated the site for residential development. Site does not fall within the Village Core boundary. Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) conducted a site inspection, in which it had been stated that the garden where the proposed development is being considered forms part of a very old building, namely Palazzo Giannin. After various meetings and assessments the committee concluded that the garden should not be developed, since it is a typical garden which forms part of an historic villa, which subsequently needs to be protected from any type of development. Moreover HAC recommended that both IHM and NHAC should be consulted. Application has been then forwarded to the Integrated Heritage Management (IHM), to which comments brought forward by IHM read that:   

Site is a typical garden/villa example Site is proposed in the SMLP for inclusion within the UCA Garden and villa have a cultural and historical relevance since such properties were normally owned by prominent people living in the area

IHM recommended that:  Proposal not acceptable since this will compromise the garden/villa connection  Development will compromise the visual integrity of the UCA  UCA’s character will be significantly impaired since the site is in the periphery of the UCA  Proposed development is very intensive, resulting in a negative impact on parking and traffic in the vicinity. The Natural Heritage Advisory Committee stated that there is no objection to the proposed Outline Development Application (within Scheme) on grounds of Natural Heritage. The following comments have been brought forward: The large garden of Palazzo Giannini contains several trees, some of great age. Some very old Cypress trees ( Cupressus sempervirens), listed in Schedule I of the Trees and Woodland (Protection) Regulations (L.N. 12 of 2001), are present. Schedule II trees on site include Olive (Olea europea), Pomegranate (Punica granatum) and Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera). A Norfolk Island Pine (Auracaria) of great antiquity is present and, together with the Cypress trees already mentioned and some Palm trees of various species, falls in Schedule III (trees of more than 50 years of age). The proposed development would leave a 12metre long part of the garden nearest the Palazzo (including the Norfolk Island Pine and some of the old Cypress trees)) intact but would of necessity involve the destruction of several other trees found in the remaining part of the garden. It is therefore recommended that in case of approval of the proposed development application, any eventual felling and removal of trees falling within Schedules I, II, and II of L.N.12 of 2001 should be carried out in full compliance

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 5 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

with Regulation 8 of the Legal Notice. It was also noted that the garden is characterised by the presence of the invasive alien species Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissimus) which is listed in Schedule V of L.N. 12 of 2001. These are present in all areas of the garden and range from young saplings to mature, seed bearing trees. It is recommended that any trees of this species found in that part of the garden which is to be retained should be destroyed in line with Regulation 10 of the Legal Notice. Finally it is recommended that a full tree inventory of the garden should be carried out prior to development indicating the species and approximate age of all trees to be destroyed. This inventory should then be used to calculate the compensatory planting which applicant will have to carry out in line with Section 2.3 and Appendix I of the Guidelines on Trees, Shrubs and Plants for Planting and Landscaping in the Maltese Islands issued by the M.E.P.A. in January 2002.

COMMENTS: Principle of Proposal: The original proposal as submitted was not acceptable from a planning and design point of view. This proposal was a normal conventional development in which it did not respect the urban context of the area. Through various discussions and a site inspection, the Planning Directorate recommended the following planning and design parameters:       

The proposal should integrate with the existing Palazzo The site coverage should be reduced The proposal should provide permeability The massing and height should reflect the urban core character The protected trees mainly those adjacent to the villa should be kept Adequate buffer from the Palazzo should be kept The axiality of the garden should be respected

An amended proposal has been submitted as per drawing red26C. The proposal has been an improvement to the original submission. However, the main issue has been whether the concept had to be acceptable in principle. Through consultations with the Local Planning Unit, it has been indicated that the development of the site in question will prejudice the emerging Local Plan. In fact, the approved South Malta Local Plan, as indicated in map GH1designstes the site as a private garden which merits protection. However the policy gives space to a certain development proposal only after an adequate assessment of the garden is carried out to the satisfaction of MEPA. It is very important to note that from a cultural and heritage point of view it has been indicated that no development should be permitted within the site in question. Moreover, CHAC stated that discussions are underway whether the garden in question should be scheduled due to its historic and architectural importance. In principle, from a natural heritage point of view there is no objection in principle for the

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 6 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

development of this garden. Though some indicate trees (as has been also recommended by the Planning Directorate) should be protected and integrated within the development. According to the SMLP map GH1, site is designated as a private garden meriting protection as per policy SMIA10. The latter states that: “Within those private gardens, indicated in the relevant Policy Maps as Private Gardens Meriting Protection, which either form part of buildings of cultural, historical or architectural value or which merit scheduling, and which have been zoned for terraced house development in the Temporary Provision Schemes 1988, MEPA will consider development proposals ONLY after an assessment of the garden is carried out to the satisfaction of MEPA…” Such assessment has been completed by MEPA’s representees, being the IHM, NHAC and CHAC. As indicated above, the latter concluded that the here-discussed garden shall remain free form any development. Thus no proposed works shall be carried out within this site. CONCLUSION The Directorate finalized its recommendation on the above-mentioned issues, referring this outline development application for a refusal.

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 7 of 8


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: Case Officer Report

REFUSE - for the following reasons:

1 - This proposal seeks to develope a private garden as designated in the South Malta

Local mapGH1 which MEPA considers to be of a cultural, historical and architecural value that merits scheduling. In this regard this proposed development is unacceptable and runs counter South Malta Local Plan policy SMIA 10 which safeguard the protection of private gardens.

Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:01 Report Page: 8 of 8


Case Officer Report First refusal