25 properties scheduled in Sliema
Protection includes house which had been about to be demolished
Amid the controversy over the demotion of Villa Ignatius in Balluta, the Planning Authroity on Thursday said 25 properties which exhibit a neo-classical design have been scheduled in Sliema.
The properties, which are in two clusters, have all been given a Grade 2 protection status.
One cluster of 20 houses is located in the vicinity of St Patrick’s School, in Triq Dun Mikiel Rua, Triq Guze' Howard, Triq Poutiatin Tabone and Triq San Ġwann Bosco. The other cluster, comprising of five properties is located in Triq il-Katidral. One of the properties also abuts Triq San Pawl.
Among the scheduled properties is 33 Cathedral Street, which had been at risk of demolition for redevelopment.
The properties were all built in the same period spanning the late 19th century up to the mid 20th century.
"Although these properties have been protected for their collective value, each one has individual merits for scheduling, often having peculiar features on the facade and interior that distinguish them from other buildings," the PA said.
The properties also have common features that are traditional characteristics of buildings of this particular period.
Some of these buildings also have a front garden which is an uncommon feature, and a good-sized back garden that is traditional of these types of buildings. Evidently, these buildings were commissioned by prominent patrons designed by celebrated architects and built by some of the finest masons and craftsman in the Maltese Islands at the time, the PA said.
The authority said it is assessing more properties around Sliema which merit scheduling.
FAA WELCOMES SCHEDULING
Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar in a statement welcomed 'the timely and sensitive scheduling' of a number of houses in Sliema including those in Cathedral Street.
It recalled that it had filed a formal request to the PA for the protection of these properties only a few weeks ago.
"FAA augurs a new era for the protection of such houses which are part and parcel of our national heritage and an integral part of the urban fabric," the NGO said.
It said it will continue working for the safeguarding of such architectural heritage, as well as for the introduction of schemes to help owners of these properties to maintain and preserve them, for the common good.