Planned Sacré-Cœur Convent could hamper the development of nearby hotels

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The Superintendency of Cultural Heritage is in the final stages of programming for the Sacré-Coeur School and Convent, granting them greater protection against adjacent real estate developments in an area now targeted by real estate and hotel developments.

Scheduling will always require the final seal of approval from the planning authority following the recommendation of the SCH.

In this case, the building’s programming was requested by the Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, a body chaired by the superintendent who reviews planning applications.

The schedule would not only keep the school and convent complex, but would also have an impact on any proposed development in its vicinity.

Indeed, any proposed development near the school will have to be evaluated according to more stringent criteria introduced last year by the Minister of Planning Aaron Farrugia, which require the presentation of photomontages to assess the visual impact on the property. scheduled neighbor.

A seven-story hotel has recently been proposed 10 meters from the school, directly opposite one of the school gates.

The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage has previously expressed concern that the proposed height for the hotel sets an “undesirable precedent” for excessive height in this area and has a negative impact on the convent / school complex.

The Society of the Sacred Heart was established in Malta in 1903 when its schools and convents were confiscated by the French government. The nuns first settled in Villa Portelli, Sliema, where they also opened their first school before moving to a new school in St Julian’s four years later. In 1944 they opened a teacher training college in St Julian’s.

The mayor of St Julian, Albert Buttigieg, opposes a project of “guest house” of 23 rooms on seven floors, in front of one of the entrances of the school of the Sacred Heart.

In addition to warning that this would result in “pencil development” and the creation of two massive virgin party walls, the mayor warned against commercializing the residential area, pointing to a “political loophole” that allows homes to hosts in areas where hotels are not permitted. .

“What is the difference between a guesthouse and a hotel? asked the mayor, adding that “experience shows that there is none”.

He noted that the hotel will only have two parking spaces, warning that this will exacerbate parking problems in the area on a road currently used by school vans and parent cars.

He said the new hotel would further lead to the loss of the region’s identity and offend the architecture of the school itself.

As proposed, the layout of Joseph Chetcuti, the layout will include a reception and breakfast area on the ground floor, 23 rooms on six stacked floors including one set back and a swimming pool at roof level. An indoor pool and gymnasium will be located in an excavated basement.


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