NGOs have begun registering their objections to a proposed 5-storey apartment block that will overlook Gozo’s Ġgantija temples, one of the world’s oldest structures.
In a statement, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar said that application not only destroys the characteristic Gozitan vernacular architecture of the current building but also destroys the heritage value of this streetscape, notably the temples and the Xagħra Windmill.
“The replacement of this building with a structure that is totally incongruent in style and massing will result in further demolitions and replacement by inappropriate buildings in the area,” FAA said.
The application, it said, violates several planning policies, with FAA highlighting the house is much larger than being indicated on the planning website.
“This combination, together with the massiveness of the block of 31 apartments and blank party wall on the Ġgantija side of this building, is totally out of context and discordant with the flanking residences within its traditional setting,” it said.
Lying along Triq il-Parsott in Xagħra, the application looks to develop close to 31 apartments across four floors with 20 garage spaces. The top-level is set back with a penthouse.
The project’s applicant is Emmanuel Farrugia and its architect is Samuel Formosa.
Given the area’s archaeological importance, a number of objections have been filed with many raising concerns that the development is not in keeping with the area’s historical value.
“This must not be allowed. Besides destroying a vernacular building characteristic of Gozo and Xagħra, the proposed building is going to be an eyesore when seen from the nearby World Heritage site of the Ggantija Temples the most visited site of Heritage Malta. The apartments are also going to jar badly with the rest of the architecture in the same street,” one person said.
So far, the Commissioner for Rights of Persons with Disabilities has made their opposition to the development known given some issues with the project. The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage has not yet issued a statement on the application.
The FAA has asked to be informed continuously on the plans.
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