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Proposals to transform Villa Rosa, Cresta Quay

One of the applications is to develop the water sports centre at Cresta Quay into a four-star superior hotel. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

One of the applications is to develop the water sports centre at Cresta Quay into a four-star superior hotel. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The Villa Rosa grounds in St George’s Bay may be landscaped and partly redeveloped into a shopping complex, offices, a hotel, language school, apartments and bungalows under two applications that have been submitted to the planning authority.

The upper gardens and the villa itself, which has recently been restored, will not be touched. The lower gardens and buildings are currently in a state of abandonment.

The proposed development will be carried out by Anton Camilleri on behalf of Garnet Investments Ltd.

The project proposes the demolition of the unsightly high wall erected to screen activities within the villa, allowing for an open public space that the developers see as an extension to the sandy beach. “Most” of the existing mature garden will be retained.

The development being proposed will have a height of four stories, plus semi basement and a penthouse levels with various commercial uses at ground floor.

A high building will be easily shielded by the surrounding developments

A 130-metre-high panoramic viewing point, overlooking the Villa Rosa building and the surrounding gardens, is in the pipeline, while 15 bungalows will overlook a large water feature below which car spaces are being proposed.

Regarding the heights being proposed, “particular attention was given to ensure that a low development was proposed on the northern end of the property”.

“With regard to the southern end of the development, the height proposal is higher due to the fact that this area is located at the lowest end of the site (approximately 15 floors lower than the highest point in the immediate vicinity) and thus a high building will be easily shielded by the surrounding developments, and no effects will result in the long-distance views.”

In a separate application filed by Mr Camilleri, Cresta Quay, which currently consists of a water sports centre, will be redeveloped into a four-star superior hotel with beach club facilities.

The stretch of coast from SAS Radisson up to the Hilton and on towards Sliema consists of an area where a large number of hotels are located, known as the Golden Mile.

The hotel would also incorporate marine berthing facilities to be used solely during the summer period and by the hotel clients.

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