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MALTATODAY 9 June 2019

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NEWS JAMES DEBONO THE Superintendence for Cultural Heritage is calling for a significant reduction in the height of a proposed 10-storey development on the grounds of the former Trade Fair's car park in Naxxar, warning that it would "challenge the sce- nic significance of the parish churches of Mosta and Nax- xar", especially when viewed from St Paul's Bay and Mdina. The national heritage watch- dog warned that the develop- ment will "permanently recon- figure" the visual appearance of the most prominent urban centres of the central-north area, "proposing a massive solid block which is not tak- ing into consideration the traditional and established Maltese skyline." The Superintendence also drew attention to the fact that the building will be sited on the already high Naxxar ridge. "Any high develop- ment at this location will have an inevitable impact on the landscape and it will dominate and redefine vari- ous views of the island." The massive development will also "dwarf" the histori- cal chapel of St Jacob the Apostle and will "divorce it totally from the context, obliterating its legibility", the Superintendence said. The Superintendence also drew attention to the exist- ence of underground irri- gation water galleries and tunnels in connection with Palazzo Parisio's garden and alerted the developers to the possibility of the discovery of archaeological remains in this area. As proposed, the develop- ment will involve the exca- vation of three underground levels and the construction of 10 floors above ground up to an overall height of 32m. The project includes a su- permarket, retail and food and beverage shops, office accommodation, a gymna- sium, a day-care centre, and 113 residential units, to- gether with 253 car parking spaces. The development is being proposed by SPTT Proper- ties, a company formed in 2018 by various commercial groups: they include Dutch business group Wygron Be- heer, Malta property group Belair – one of the driving forces behind Gzira's 17 East high-rise – hotelier Ian Decesare's Sonnet Inv, Ab Initio Limited, JND proper- ties, L.A. Developments, J&J Holdings, IN Space, as well as other independent prop- erty owners and also legal consultants. maltatoday | SUNDAY • 9 JUNE 2019 Superintendence wants height reduction for Naxx ar development The proposed 10-storey development would 'dwarf' the historical chapel of St Jacob the Apostle

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