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DPC approval of re-developments in Main Street and upper town

Unite Union Press Call at the JMH(Photo John Bugeja) 23.03.17 Gibraltar Tony Woodhouse, a member of the Unite executive council in the UK, campaign relating to Ian McClusky. In pix Michael Netto

The redevelopment of 91 Main Street received unanimous approval at Tuesday’s meeting of the Development and Planning Commission.

The project was originally deferred in November last year but gained approval based on the revised plans submitted to the Town Planner by the developer LB Alwani Ltd.

The previous deferment was for three main reasons: the proposal was considered to be excessively high, the façade, as a result of including an additional floor the shop front was greatly reduced and out of proportion to the normal design for Main Street.

The revised plan includes remedies for these three points.

The ground floor has seen little change in the plans but the Main Street façade is being retained with no alternations to the window openings on the façade.

All the original openings and floor levels are being retained on that part of the building, which faces Main Street.

In the rear part of the building the developer is inserting an additional floor within the envelope which affects the façade onto Main Street.

The plans also include one storey to the front part of the building and one to the rear as well. Small private terraces to the apartments are included. A green roof with solar panels will also be created.

The height of the building when compared to the original plans submitted has been reduced by seven meters.

“In terms of our assessment we welcome these revisions, the overall height has been reduced which is in keeping with the area.
The original openings have been retained which is what the Commission requested and the shop proportions are now much more in keeping with the standard design. So we approve the revised scheme,” said Deputy Town Planner Paul Naughton-Rumbo.

Items such as bat and swift boxes will also need to be installed. A colour scheme and materials for the development needs to be agreed on with Town Planning.

In closing the discussion on the development the Town Planner Paul Origo said, “for the record this is another example of a renewal where the old building is dilapidated and mostly empty and changes will be welcomed as improvements to the town centre.”
4-14 Police Barracks

Full planning permission was granted to the developer of 4-14 Police Barracks at Tuesday’s meeting with no objections although two members of the Commission abstained from voting.

The application was seeking permission for eight apartments over two storeys and a green roof, the development will be three storeys high.

Outline planning permission was given to Prize Properties Ltd in 2015 for four townhouses and the full planning application is “very similar”.

The changes to the central area cut outs are as a result of discussions during the outline planning stage. This was to reduce the impact of the building.

The development has a flat green roof.

“The only real difference to that approved previously is that they have now incorporated solar panels and some screened air conditioning plant on the building,” said Mr Naughton-Rumbo.

The Ministry for Heritage objected to the development because it changes the vernacular character of the building.

The Heritage Trust commented that it is an improvement on the previous proposal but still had some concerns in terms of the loss of the pitched roof and questioned whether the applicant could consider using retaining or elevating the pitched roof and use it as loft accommodation.

“Our assessment is that this full application is in line with the outline planning application which is already granted,” said Mr Naughton-Rumbo.

“We recommend approval of this application,” he added.

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