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Environment NGO protests over plans to demolish Sliema townhouse

Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar has protested over plans for the demolition of a mid-19th century two-storey townhouse on Cathedral Street, Sliema, so that it can be replaced by apartments.

"The stately home is laden with irreplaceable features of historic and architectural value,amongst them a stone-sculpted coat of arms, an elaborately detailed stone staircase, a barrel-vaulted well (extending beneath neighbouring properties) and an ornate niche at the far end of its mature back garden, the environment NGO said.

It wondered why none of these invaluable features were shown in the photos submitted to the Planning Authority as part of the application.

"Such an abusive attempt by certain architects to hide the heritage value
of these properties in unacceptable. This development will not only result in the immediate loss of this distinguished building but will threaten the integrity and character of the entire row of historic townhouses it forms part of as its demolition will set a precedent for their inevitable destruction. The situation will be further aggravated by the resultant destruction of the few remaining mature gardens serving as green open spaces in this over-developed area," the FAA said.

It also pointed out that at six storeys the planned new development would be completely in excess of the permissible height set according to existing
policies.

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