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MT 8 May 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 10 JAMES DEBONO THE Planning Authority is presently considering the sched- uling of around 100 properties, a spokesperson for the au- thority confirmed, but the list is confidential and the au- thority will not divulge the properties being considered for protection. According to the PA, publishing the list of buildings pro- posed for scheduling would result in "external interference that may hamper the scheduling process." MaltaToday is informed that a large number of proper- ties proposed for scheduling by experts in the authority's Heritage Planning Unit, have been waiting for scheduling for years. The law only obliges the PA to publish the list of these buildings when these are approved by the Authority's Ex- ecutive Council. Over the past weeks the Authority created controversy over the development of 15 apartments, two penthouses and 57 underground parking spaces in Hughes Hallet Street which will replace three art deco townhouses. The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage was not in- formed about this application. Last year, when faced by a similar application, the Superin- tendence had called for Grade 2 protection for a townhouse in Pace Street which was proposed for demolition to make way for the development of a maisonette, 11 apartments, a penthouse and office space. According to architect Edward Said, of the Sliema heritage society, these three houses are the last few examples of art deco style which these Qui-Si-Sana streets were known for, and built around 1920. The facades of these buildings were demolished because News Can the public get much loved buildings scheduled? Article 57 of the Development Planning Act 2016 regulates the scheduling of such properties in Malta. Once a property is assessed and considered to contain herit- age significance it is then ranked according to the degree of pro- tection. The ranking is deter- mined by the item's importance. Not all buildings enjoy the same level of conservation. Grade 1 properties and their surroundings enjoy maximum protection and Grade 2 proper- ties are largely protected from demolition but may be subject to internal alterations, while parts of Grade 3 properties may be removed. But these grades of protection are only indicative. According to the PA there is "no one way to define what works can be car- ried out to a protected (sched- uled) property. This is deter- mined on a case by case basis". The Heritage Planning Unit (HPU) is the unit in the PA re- sponsible designating heritage assets for legal protection. According to the law the scheduling of buildings is the responsibility of the PA's Exec- utive Council, which is chaired by the authority's Executive Chairperson. Whenever the Executive Council is considering schedul- ing it is also legally obliged to in- vite the Superintendent of Cul- tural Heritage for its meetings. According to the law the list of scheduled buildings can in- clude buildings, structures and remains of geological, paleonto- logical, cultural, archaeological, architectural, historical, anti- quarian, artistic or landscape importance. The list of scheduling orders, and any additions or amend- ments to it has to be published in the Government Gazette and in a local newspaper. The Ex- ecutive Council also has to no- tify any one of the owners of any property subject to a scheduling order of its inclusion in the list. A notice has to be affixed on site. The owner of a scheduled property may request the recon- sideration of any scheduling of his property. The PA's criteria for schedul- ing buildings include histori- cal significance, architectural significance and social signifi- cance, research significance and their uniqueness. Items which demonstrate strong associations to "past customs, cultural practices, philosophies or systems of gov- ernment" can be eligible for sanctioning, regardless of the intactness of the item or any structure on the place. Any item with strong or special associa- tion with a particular commu- nity or cultural group in Malta Scheduling is last redoubt for urban areas under assault 100 properties awaiting scheduling but PA does not divulge properties since 'external influence' could hamper process Building in Pace Street in Sliema proposed for scheduling by Superintendence for Cultural Heritage last year, following an application for its demolition The Sliema Heritage Society says the town will lose the the last few examples of 1920s art deco style that Qui-Si-Sana is known for

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