Sandro Craus, the head of customer care at Castille, has come out strongly against an audacious proposal to develop a boutique hotel over two beautiful townhouses at the entrance of Rabat.
“It is unacceptable that [the townhouses] be converted into a four-storey monster for the sake of a new hotel,” Craus said on Facebook. “If this obscene planning application is approved, it will damage the majestic entrance to Rabat and Mdina, as well as one of the most beautiful avenues in the country.”
The application, filed by Keith Grima, seeks to add two storeys to two old townhouses between Triq is-Saqqaja and Vjal Santu Wistin so as to convert them into a boutique hotel.
Vjal Santu Wistin
A group of Rabat residents have already filed objections, warning the hotel will ruin the streetscape and aesthetics of the streets, attract more cars to the area and exacerbate the traffic problem there. On a more technical front, residents are arguing the proposal breaches the obligations required for developments in scheduled conversation areas as well as the local plan, which designates the area as a two-storey residential area.
Craus urged people, in particular Rabat residents, to file their objections to the Planning Authority and confirmed he will launch a formal petition in the coming days.
The Partit Demokratiku has also announced it will object to the proposed development, warning Rabat appears to be the next target for speculators to ravage. Meanwhile, PN MEP Roberta Metsola warned there are no second-chances when it comes to protecting Maltese heritage.