Lija is one of Malta’s most prominent villages, boasting wonderful and valuable architecture. It is a village composed of wonderful houses, including townhouses, terraced houses and houses of character. In Lija, you will find a certain style and historical significance, which sustains its allure. Due to its quite features and the class of people who opt to live there, it is considered as one of the elite localities of the island. The prices to purchase homes in Lija are also very expensive due to its reputation and distinctiveness. Considering all the high-rise development taking place in Malta, Lija has to a certain extent, maintained its classical features.
But will this still remain the case?
It has been recently reported in the news that a development application has been submitted for a five-storey apartment block in a street which is just outside the village core. It is being argued that the structure will contrast greatly with the area since it is a two-storey terraced house zone. The project is being proposed in Triq tal-Mirakli and would be quite an eyesore when compared with the rest of the street.
Objections to the Planning Authority argue against the excessive height which would dwarf the other houses that are built in similar architectural styles. In this regard, planning regulation should cater for the proposed project’s surroundings.
Residents have also raised concerns about the potential impact of the excavations since the row of houses were all built over shared ground beams back in the 1970’s. There was no objection to the development by the Lija local council and the proposed project is up for public consultation until the 29th March. This project is yet to be reviewed by the Planning Authority.
The main concern of residents is the trend which may bring forth new changes, permanently altering the village’s landscape and character.
Lija boutique hotel
Another controversial project which is currently being considered is a proposed twenty-four room boutique hotel, replacing a traditional farm within an urban conservation area. To accommodate a swimming pool and other facilities, the project is expected to extend into outside development zone fields. The hotel is expected to rise to a maximum of four floors in a predominantly two-storey development area, thus is anticipated to bring about negative repercussions.
For this proposed boutique hotel, the Lija local council has raised an objection due to the visual detriment and the damage to the agricultural area. This is also coupled with the fact that the plan does not accommodate spaces for cars which would only continue to aggravate the already existing parking problem.
Is Lija next in Malta’s development frenzy?