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Historic Saqqajja Hill Townhouses Saved After Developer Scraps Plans For Hotel Conversion

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Plans to convert a pair of historic Rabat houses into a boutique hotel have been scrapped following widespread opposition.

Despite initially objecting to development on Saqqajja Hill due to the threat it caused to both the historical and archaeological value of the area, the superintendence then backed the project.

This came after the developer removed one floor (it is still a four-storey development on a two-storey road) and amended plans for the garden.

Over 3,0000 objections were filed by citizens, a number of NGOs, and the Rabat Local Council.  Even Planning Minister Ian Borg described the project as a non-starter.

Developer Keith Grima has now withdrawn his application.

Designed by Andrea Vassallo and documented in Leonard Mahoney’s ‘2000 Years of Maltese Architecture’, the uniform row of houses in Saqqajja Hill are some of the last remaining from the esteemed architect.

The row of houses is now subject to a scheduling application from the Rabat Local Council, in a bid to substantially protect the area from any future development.

READ NEXT: Historical Value, Local Plans And Widespread Opposition: Here’s Why The PA Must Reject Conversion Of Iconic Rabat Townhouses To Hotel 

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