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MALTATODAY 12 December 2021

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 12 DECEMBER 2021 8 NEWS C A R E E R O P P O R T U N I T Y The Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services is seeking to recruit a Customer Rela ons Officer to join its team. The candidate will be answering queries of a financial services nature and will also be dealing with minor cases aiming for their early resolu on. Further informa on about this vacancy is available at Applicants are kindly requested to submit a covering le er and a CV by registered post or by hand to: Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services Chairman - Selec on Board First Floor, St Calcedonius Square Floriana FRN1530 Closing date for applica ons is 16 December 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be required to a end for an interview by the Selec on Board and possibly to a second interview, as necessary. JAMES DEBONO THE Superintendence for Cul- tural Heritage is objecting to the Park Lane development that will supplant the disused Dolphin commercial centre in Balzan, saying the 90-apartment com- plex abutting the town's historic centre was "incongruous" with its surroundings. The watchdog has also taken umbrage at a proposal to relocate Balzan's St Roque niche from its prominent location at the corner between Triq Wied il-Balzan and Triq il-Kbira, with the inscrip- tion 'Park Lane' anove it. The niche forms part of the abandoned Dolphin complex now earmarked for the the 90-unit complex and 2,500sq.m of retail shops, proposed by Clift- on Attard, a business partner of construction magnate Joe Portel- li. The project has been adver- tised on Portelli's website for the past year, even before plans were published on the Planning Au- thority's website as reported by MaltaToday last year. The project's architect, Maria Schembri Grima, was appointed chairperson of the Building and Construction Agency in April 2021. Apart from objecting to the scale of the five-storey apart- ment block, which it termed 'in- congruous' with the neighbour- ing Urban Conservation Area, the Superintendence is objecting to the incorporation of the niche in the proposed design. The Superintendence insists that the niche be kept in its prominent location on display at the corner between two streets. "The Superintendence immedi- ately objects to the location as proposed stating that the niche is to retain its prominent loca- tion on display at the corner be- tween the two streets." It took umbrage at the "pro- posed juxtaposition of the pro- posed name-plate above the niche" which is described as "quite unacceptable". The SCH insists that the siting of the niche "is in no way to be challenged by extraneous architectural ele- ments". The Balzan development is part of a long saga of planning abuse dating back to the early 1990s. Prior to the construction of the Dolphin supermarket, the site was occupied by a historical 18th century villa. In 1990, the Antiquities Com- mittee at the Department of Mu- seums, a precursor of the SCH, resigned en bloc after its calls to preserve the villa were overruled when the PAPB (the regulator of the time) issued a permit for the Dolphin complex, on condition that Villa Birbal's corner street shrine be reintegrated into the new facade. 30 years later, the SCH is warn- ing that the proposed develop- ment fails to provide for ade- quate transition to the Balzan UCA. While accepting that the site can be redeveloped, the Planning Authority wants a reduction in volume by having the block ex- tending into the UCA not exceed three storeys and a receded floor – one floor less than is being pro- posed. Over 250 objections were sub- mitted against the proposed de- velopment. Moviment Graffitti also object- ed to plans, warning that these are against the SPED policies for UCA zones, which calls for projects to identify, protect and enhance the character of urban areas. It warned that the building height would unavoidably dark- en the entire area, while not fol- lowing the required transition in height from the UCA zone. The project lies in an area character- ised by terraced houses. "The approval of this enormous development will highlight the insensitivity of the Planning Au- thority towards residents' wishes, whilst further cementing the fact that large developers are free to develop without regard to plans, policies and laws," Graffitti said in its objection. 'Incongruent' Balzan block at Dolphin wants St Roque niche The Superintendence objected to the inscription Park Lane above the St Roque Niche

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