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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

--- REPRESENTATIONS ---

Local Council submitted an objection letter as per Red11.

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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration 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.

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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

--- CASE OFFICER REPORT ---

1.0

Proposal:

1.1

The proposal is for an Outline Development Permit to construct residential units and underlying garages. The propose development will be built on three 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.

2.0

Site:

2.1

The site consists of an old villa dating back to the British Occupancy period, and is estimated to the 250 years old. The proposed development will be built on three 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.

3.0

Site History:

3.1

No previous permit applications were traced to the site in concern.

4.0

Consultations:

4.1

Internal Consultations Heritage Advisory Committee - The HAC conducted a site in section and 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, the HAC recommends that both the IHM & NHAC be consulted. Integrated Heritage Management - The IHM recommended that the proposal should not be accepted as it will compromise the garden/villa connection, and that the development will also compromise the visual integrity of the UCA. The proposed development is very intensive and will result in a negative impact on parking and traffic in the vicinity. Natural Heritage Advisory Committee - The NHAC stated that there is no objection to the proposed Outline Application on grounds of natural heritage, and made several comments on the vegetation present in the garden.

4.2

External Consultations No external consultations were carried out during the processing stages of this development permit application.

5.0

Constraints & Policy Context:

5.1

Site Constraints

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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

Approved South Malta Local Plan: Policy SMIA 10 - Protection of Private Gardens and Open Space Enclaves in UCAs. 5.2

Planning and Environmental Policy Context Structure Plan for the Maltese Islands (December 1990). Policy and Design Guidance 2000. Policy and Design Guidance 2005. Policy and Design Guidance 2007.

6.0

Original Decision:

6.1

The proposal was refused by DCC on the 6th May, 2008, as per Decision Notice Red 57 in file following DPA report Blue 51.

7.0

Reconsideration Request:

7.1

In letter dated 30th November, 2006 in file (Red 36), applicant is requesting a reconsideration of the proposal.

8.0

Reasons for Refusal:

8.1

9.0

Applicant’s Arguments for Reconsideration:

9.1

 

The proposal seeks to develop a private garden as designated in SMLP Map GH 1, which MEPA considers to be of a cultural, historical and architectural value that merits scheduling. In this regard, this development is unacceptable and runs counter to SMLP policy SMIA 10, which safeguard the protection of private gardens.

Although the development is not physically connected to the existing villa, the proposed development will be enhancing the villa. The proposal is a conversion scheme with a final aim to bring the dilapidated state of the old villa back to use. A large portion of the garden adjacent to the villa will not form part of the proposed development, thus keeping the area in its present state. Therefore the idea of a typical garden forming part of the historical villa mentioned by the HAC will be retained. This idea of retaining a large area of the garden adjacent to the villa will not compromise the garden/villa connection mentioned by the IHM. The uncontrolled development around the northern part of the garden has led to a dilapidation of the aesthetic and architectural value of the garden. The most valuable heritage to keep in this mentioned garden is the trees and plans. Unpredictably, the NHAC has found no objection for these trees to be removed apart from protecting some of the trees

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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

and which are to be integrated with the development to which the applicant finds no objection. 10.0

Directorate’s Comments for Reconsideration:

10.1

In comments for reconsideration, the applicant is stating that the works will not disrupt the connection between the garden and the villa as a large portion of the garden will not be developed, but in fact preserved. In truth, the applicant is highlighting how the uncontrolled development around the northern part of the garden which is leading to a dilapidation of the aesthetic and architectural value of the garden. Notwithstanding this, these issues are identical to comments made by the architect following the DPA Report (Red 50 dated 25th March, 2008), have already been addressed to the Board as Notes to Committee, and thus concluded at first decision.

10.2

Proposed Development 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 development of this garden. Though some indicate trees (as has been also recommended by the Planning Directorate) should be protected Report Printed On: 17 November 2011 22:06 Report Page: 5 of 7


Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

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. 11.0

Conclusion:

11.1

Consequently, in view of the above discussion, the Directorate feels the request for this reconsideration is Dismissed and retain the original decision.

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Case Number: PA/01066/04 Report Name: DPA Reconsideration Report

Recommendation is not available

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.

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Second refusal for Ghaxaq Palazzo Gardens development  

Second refusal for Ghaxaq Palazzo Gardens development