More construction work for fed-up Sliema residents
Frustrated residents in a Sliema street will have to put up with more construction inconvenience after a permit for another five-storey apartment block was approved.
The site is made up of two traditional townhouses built back-to-back on Sir Arturo Mercieca and Don Mikiel Rua streets and is within an Urban Conservation Area.
The construction is just one of several in a 200-metre stretch in Sir Arturo Mercieca Street where huge craters have replaced entire houses, pavements are broken and the road is full of deep potholes. Residents have been plagued by dust and lack of parking while a tower crane has blocked the road for almost a year.
The project, which had been recommended for refusal by the planning authority’s case officer, involves the demolition of the structure, while keeping the facades, and garages at basement level. A maisonette, two apartments and duplex penthouse will be built in Don Mikiel Rua Street while four apartments and penthouse will be built in Sir Arturo Mercieca.
According to planning policies, the building height limitation for Don Mikiel Rua Street is two storeys and two receded floors while those on Sir Arturo Mercieca are limited to three and one receded.
The case officer said the development was “not acceptable” because the height of the apartment block in Sir Arturo Mercieca exceeded planning policies and “there are no previous applications on site which justify the excess height”.
The changes to the facades were also “incompatible” with the urban design of the area and characteristics of the Urban Conservation Area.
Resident Sarah Kennard said she was “not surprised” the permit had been granted.
“Planning is obviously not a forte among the relevant authorities and the road now looks like a war zone – shame on all the authorities that have allowed this to take place,” she said.
“This is supposed to be a civilised country yet it is disgusting – the road is getting filthier with rubbish piling up and, to date, no water has been sprayed to settle the dust as should be done by law,” Mrs Kennard added. Another resident said she had to close all her windows and balcony by 6.30 a.m. to prevent the fumes from the trucks and dust flying into her home.
“I can’t even to go the supermarket during the day as it’s a nightmare to park – I’m really angry about it and can’t understand how another permit could have been approved.”