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7 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 8 MAY 2022 88-apartment block set for approval in Balzan JAMES DEBONO A Planning Authority case officer is recommending the approv- al of an 88-unit complex, gym and 2,408sq.m of retail shops, proposed by Clifton Attard, a business partner of construction magnate Joseph Portelli. The project will include nine shops at ground floor level, four floors of residences, and an overlying receded floor lev- el. The final decision by the PA's planning commission is scheduled for 20 May. The only major condition imposed on the development is that the developers will still need "clearance" from the Su- perintendence of Cultural Her- itage for the relocation of the niche of St Roque. The heritage watchdog had called for the project to be downscaled, while also objecting to the reloca- tion of Balzan's St Roque niche from its present location at the corner between Triq Wied il- Balzan and Triq il-Kbira, and to the inscription 'Park Lane' above it. Moreover, the case officer re- port confirms that the project will not even cater for the de- mand of parking spaces, which it will create. The project will require 153 parking spaces, 16 more parking spaces more then the 137 provided. The PA's parking calculation is based on a standard formula, which en- visages one parking space for every apartment, one parking space for every 50sq.m of retail and one parking space for every 10sq.m of gym space. But the case officer argues that no parking shortfall will be created because an office pro- ject approved in 2015 which was never actually built back already resulted in a shortfall of 38 cars. Following the submission of the latest plans the Superin- tendence for Cultural Heritage had insisted that the terracing of the development so close to the Urban Conservation Area remained inadequate. The SCH kept insisting that the considerable massing being proposed should be mitigated through a design that is "more sensitive to the context in par- ticular through the breaking up of the facades through ver- tical interventions to create a rhythm evoking more tradi- tional facades." The case officer replied saying that the proposed development is compatible with its context and the surrounding areas as it introduces "traditional fea- tures such as balconies" which have been "integrated in a con- temporary design". Moreover, while the SCH considered set- backs on the second and third level as "minimal", the case of- ficer argued that the proposed street elevation and the setback floors would ensure that there is no negative impact on the traditional urban skyline of the existing streetscape. Aesthetic considerations apart, the major objection by residents is that the project constitutes an overdevelop- ment in this quaint neighbour- hood. The Balzan local council warned that the project will in- tensify development in Balzan, a locality which suffers from major traffic congestion and a lack of adequate parking spac- es for the residents of Balzan, let alone those making use of retail outlets proposed in this proposal. It also called for mitigation measures for flood relief prob- lems already present in the ar- ea, which it expects to increase significantly upon completion of the proposed development. "The proposed development is going to change the character of the locality of Balzan, thus creating a bad neighbourhood," the council said. In a separate application, which still has to be approved, the same developers have applied to develop a cor- ner townhouse previously owned by former minister John Dalli. According to the submitted plans the development will include three new floors on the existing villa to accom- modate three shops at ground floor level and 11 more apart- ments. The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has al- ready expressed concern about "this intense development", noting that it does not provide for an adequate transition to the Urban Conservation Area. VACANCIES OF ARCHITECTS We are a Public Sector en ty entrusted by Government to design and build new State schools in Malta and Gozo. We are also responsible for the refurbishment of exis ng schools and other infrastructural educa onal projects. We are involved in the projects from concept stage to their actual commissioning. We have vacancies for Architects in various grades, depending on the person's experience. Our vacancies are the following: MANAGING PROFESSIONAL OFFICER (ARCHITECT) Jobsplus Vacancy Permit: 698/2021 Applicants must have a warrant to prac ce as an Architect and Civil Engineer (Perit) in Malta. They should preferably have a minimum of eight (8) years' postwarrant experience in architectural services to all sectors of the construc on industry. PROFESSIONAL OFFICER II (ARCHITECT) Jobsplus Vacancy Permit: 697/2021 Applicants must have a warrant to prac ce as an Architect and Civil Engineer (Perit) in Malta. They should preferably have a minimum of four (4) years' postwarrant experience in architectural services to all sectors of the construc on industry. PROFESSIONAL OFFICER III (ARCHITECT) Jobsplus Vacancy Permit: 695/2021 Applicants must have a warrant to prac ce as an Architect and Civil Engineer (Perit) in Malta. Although considered an asset, postwarrant experience is not a requirement for this posi on. Applicants for all posi ons must be procient in the use of ACAD and in possession of a clean driving license (Category B). Preference will be given to applicants with experience in designing structures and project management. Interested persons may apply by sending an applica on le er and CV by email to Applica ons by post or by hand will not be accepted. All applica ons received by email will be acknowledged. Applicaons must be received by not later than Monday 16 th May, 2022. Development proposed by a business partner of Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli will result in parking shortfall of 16 cars

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