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Planning authority still awaiting brief for Jerma Palace Hotel site project

The former Jerma Palace Hotel has become inhabited by colonies of rats, mice and insects, according to the local council. Photo: Jason Borg

The former Jerma Palace Hotel has become inhabited by colonies of rats, mice and insects, according to the local council. Photo: Jason Borg

The planning authority is still waiting for a brief from the developers before considering the application to demolish the former Jerma Palace Hotel in Marsascala to make way for a luxury hotel and apartments.

A spokesman for the Malta Environment and Planning Authority said the developers had not yet submitted the development brief, which is required before the Mepa board council can consider the application.

"The South Malta Local Plan clearly identifies that any development proposals on the site of the former Jerma Palace Hotel will be subject to the submission of a development brief, to be drawn up on terms of reference set by Mepa," he said.

These terms of reference outlining the planning parameters to guide the submission of development options had been passed on to the applicant, the spokesman added.

"Once the authority receives and approves the development brief, then the development application for the redevelopment of this site can be processed," the spokesman said.

He was asked to react to a statement by the Marsascala local council which yesterday urged the authority to process and approve the new project earmarked for the site of the former hotel.

The council complained that, since its closure, despite measures taken by the new owner, the hotel site had become a heap of ruins inhabited by a massive colony of rats, mice and insects.

It said drug addicts were using the ruins, leaving hundreds of syringes lying around and now, the council claimed, illegal immigrants were squatting on the site.

The council said it felt the proposed project would benefit the community, expanding its tourism potential and enhancing economic activities. It said it was at an advanced stage of negotiations for European Research and Development Funds for projects related to the area and, if things remained as they were, it risked losing such funds and other assistance.

In August 2008, the developers said they would demolish the hotel and instead build a five-star property managed by an international hotel chain as well as a number of condominiums and high-end apartments.

The development, over an area of 35 tumoli of land, also includes a commercial area.

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