Anger at plan for priests’ complex
A group of Sliema residents have expressed anger over a planned eight-storey building owned by Dominican priests.
The complex, including garages, offices, bedrooms, classrooms, meeting rooms and penthouses, would have frontages on the Tigné Waterfront, Markiż Zimmermann Bartolo Street and Fawwara Alley. Both of these streets branch out from Bisazza Street.
Approved by the planning authority, the project was considered to be acceptable by the case officer since it complied with the height limitation, car parking requirements, design considerations, and planning policies.
It will include 20 two-bedroom flats, four one-bedroom penthouses, around 450 square metres of retail space, as well as 1,100 square metres of office space and classrooms and meeting rooms for the Dominican Community.
But the new building has angered residents of Markiż Zimmermann Bartolo Street including Tony Mallia who described it as “ridiculous” and a “disaster”. The residents are concerned that the garage, which will open onto Markiż Zimmermann Bartolo Street, will create a hazard because the street is too narrow.
“Many people pass from there, including students who attend a language school in the road. Even though the road will be slightly widened, it still won’t be safe,” Mr Mallia said.
They were also objecting because the eight-storey building will block out sunlight.
The site forms part of the existing Dominican Convent next to the Church of Jesus of Nazareth and includes a number of rooms around a colonnaded central courtyard with a loggia.
The complex is regarded as one of the best works of Guzé D’Amato and was built during the 1950s. The hall, loggia and central courtyard are still in a good state.
The part of the site where development will take place is reserved for residential use and reinstatement of the ancillary facilities for the Dominican community. There is no objection to the proposed retail outlets and offices on Fawwara Alley.