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Mepa suggests new wing for Selmun Palace Hotel

The building of a new wing to the Selmun Palace Hotel is among proposals in a public consultation for the site launched by Mepa.

A new planning and development policy framework for the site was prepared at the government's request.

The purpose of the policy is to identify a mix of acceptable land uses and consider the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the site within the existing footprint and not exceeding the current height of the structure.

Mepa said the building of the new wing - the site currently occupied by tennis courts - would only be favourably considered if it helped attract top quality tourism, it was within the existing site, it did not adversely affect the historic Selmun palace and its setting, it does not harm areas of ecological value and it has a very high design quality.

The very building of the Selmun Palace Hotel had been mired in controversy, with environmentalists complaining strongly that it affected the setting of Selmun Palace. The hotel, owned  by Air Malta, closed down three years ago and various attempts to sell it were made.

Last December, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said in reply to a question in parliament by Censu Galea that informal talks had been held between Air Malta and Mepa on possible development of the Selmun Palace Hotel, which has been closed for some three years.

Mr Galea had asked whether it was true that a major extension of the hotel had been requested and what Mepa's reaction was.

Replying to a similar question, the minister for justice and local councils, Owen Bonnici said any development proposal would have to go through the channels laid down by law.

He said this government initiative was aimed at making the Selmun Palace a reference point in the North of Malta.

The government and Air Malta have made a number of efforts to sell the hotel, without success.


 

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