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MALTATODAY 13 March 2022

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20 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 13 MARCH 2022 For more information: The Imperial, Rudolph Street, Sliema, SLM 1279 | 2145 6440 | A member of St George's Care Limited – LIVE LIFE WITH US The Imperial offers an extensive choice of single and companion accommodation options that are cleaned by our dedicated housekeeping team on a daily basis. Residents are encouraged to personalise their rooms with their much-loved photographs, home accessories and treasured belongings. All rooms are air conditioned and stylishly decorated, with kitchenette facilities, furniture, digital tv, and wi-fi internet access. Every room has ensuite bathroom facilities and equipped with a nurse call system in both the bedroom and bathroom, allowing our residents to call for assistance whenever needed. To mark the inauguration of a new wing at The Imperial, we are offering a number of rooms within this floor at a discounted rate of €75 per day. The Imperial in Sliema, is not just a care home, it is a home that cares. Along with Casa Antonia, we have been providing excellent care for over 20 years and will support and advise you to make the best decision for you and your loved ones. LIMITED OFFER. CALL TODAY FOR A VIEWING. INAUGURATION OF NEW FLOOR ONE TIME, LIMITED OFFER SELECTED SINGLE ROOMS AT €75 PER DAY St John's ditch devolved to Valletta council, football club for car park JAMES DEBONO THE Valletta local council has been granted the devolution of a site in St John's ditch from the Lands Authority for the future development of a car park, local government and culture minis- ter José Herrera has confirmed with MaltaToday. Earlier this week the Valletta local council announced that it had entered into a partner- ship with Valletta FC to start a project that will see part of St John's ditch area rehabilitated and transformed into an organ- ised car park, first organised on one level, with a second level to be possibly added at a later stage. According to Valletta mayor Alfred Zammit, the project will also include an escalator that will take people from the car park directly to South Street in the vicinity of the Osborne Ho- tel. The mayor said the idea for the project was born in 2013 when Herrera, a first district candidate, became parliamen- tary secretary for local govern- ment. Quizzed by MaltaToday on the potential impact of the project on the fortifications and open spaces, Herrera re- plied that the project was still "at a very early stage" and no planning applications had been submitted. But the space in question has been 'ring-fenced' for the collaborative project between Valletta Local Council and the Valletta Football Club. Asked whether the Superin- tendence of Cultural Heritage has been consulted, Herrera replied that the authority can only grant its consent to the project after both the council and Valletta FC "present the necessary intentions and area impact assessment studies." "Therefore, at this very early stage, I was pleased to see two very important stakeholders in the Valletta community get together and work in synergy. Any permits required, are to be sought by the parts involved and should adhere to all plan- ning and development laws," the minister said. The car park could reduce the number of cars circulating in the city in search of scarce parking spaces, although the idea of taking part of the ditch for a parking had stirred some controversy in the past. World renowned architect Renzo Piano, who designed the City Gate project, earmarked the open space in the ditch for a public garden costing about €1.9 million. However, in July 2013, the Labour administra- tion opted to shelve the garden to cut costs. Subsequently a garden known as Gnien Laparelli was devel- oped in the portion of the ditch visible from the City Gate en- trance, between the St James and St John Cavalier branches of the fortifications. In 2013 the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage objected to the creation of a three-sto- rey car park in the St Andrew's tenaille, which formed part of the Yellow Garage. The SCH expressed concern on pro- posed rock-cutting to create to create a pedestrian link to South Street. In 2015, a car park in the ditch was re-proposed again as part of a €1 million fund for capi- tal projects proposed by local councils. Former mayor Alex- iei Dingli defended these plans, arguing that the car park which was proposed along part of the moat would not be visible from the capital's main entrance. "You won't see any cars from the bridge; there will be a gar- den there as planned," he said. Minister Jose Herrera (centre) with mayor Alfred Zammit (second left) and Valletta FC's Alex Fenech (second from right)

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