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MALTATODAY 28 November 2021

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 28 NOVEMBER 2021 NEWS 11 Empowerment for Diversity Visit I feel I am being discriminated against. What can I do? REPORT to the NCPE. We can help you! Gattard House, National Road, Blata l-Bajda HMR 9010 2295 7850 The content of this advert represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains. The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE), Malta's national equality body, works for a Maltese society free from discrimination based on Sex/gender & family responsibilities Race/ethnic origin Age Religion & belief Sexual orientation Gender identity/ gender expression/ sex characteristics A 2019 survey 1 amongst LGBTIQ+ people in Malta found: 1 in 5 trans and intersex people were physically or sexually attacked in the five years before the survey 33% of LGBTIQ+ respondents felt discriminated against in many areas, such as going to a café, restaurant, hospital or to a shop 14% of LGBTIQ+ persons reported their discrimination experiences to an equality body or another organisation in Malta 1. FRA, the second EU LGBTI Survey – A long way to go for LGBTI equality, 2020 JAMES DEBONO ADDING three storeys to a row of protected townhouses is a "necessary evil" to protect Pace- ville's Wilga Street from blank walls, the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has told Mal- taToday. The two-storey, early 20th-century townhouses dating back to the interwar period are scheduled at Grade 2 because of their architectural and historical value. This scheduling normally precludes demolition or signifi- cant alterations to the buildings. But as proposed by one of the owners, the application seeks to raise the building height of the existing scheduled townhouses in "a uniform architectural vo- cabulary reaching the adjacent blank third-party walls". The Superintendence said that adding new floors "in an archi- tecturally sensitive way" was the only way to "valorise" the scheduled town houses in Wil- ga Street "given their immediate surrounding context". In its official assessment, the Superintendence has recognised that the buildings are of "signifi- cant cultural heritage value" but added that "prima facie" it was in agreement with the proposed application and the proposed additional facades, "provided that the newly proposed struc- tures above the existing roof lev- el are receded in order to protect the visual integrity of the exist- ing scheduled structures". The Superintendence is insist- ing that normally it does not agree with an increase in vol- umes and heights of scheduled buildings. "However, in this par- ticular case, the setting of the scheduled houses has been se- verely prejudiced with modern high development that is cre- ating very unsightly blank walls and overbearing massing which have a detrimental effect on the legibility and appreciation of the scheduled houses themselves." Heritage NGO Din l-Art Helwa is strongly objecting to the pro- posed new storeys, warning that the proposed three floors above the existing volume "will com- pletely transform the site, with the original massing and tradi- tional character being complete- ly obliterated". DLH said buildings scheduled at Grade 2 must be protected in their entirety. "Furthermore, additional development can on- ly be permitted if truly minimal and would not detract from the architectural form and massing of the scheduled property," the NGO said. Describing the application as completely unacceptable, DLH called on the Planning Authority to ensure "the protection of our island's limited and increasingly threatened cultural heritage". In another objection, envi- ronmentalist Claire Bonello de- scribed the proposed addition of extra floors on the scheduled buildings as an "insensitive and outdated proposal that set a dan- gerous precedent, threatening the integrity and protection of all scheduled properties." Wilga Street storeys are 'necessary evil' says watchdog The two-storey, early 20th-century townhouses dating back to the interwar period are scheduled at Grade 2 because of their architectural and historical value

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