A planning application that proposes the embellishment of the Spinola Garden and Paceville street is set to be decided on Thursday.
“The site is located within the development zone boundary of St Julian’s, and incorporates Paceville Street, the Spinola Gardens and surrounding streets of Triq il-Knisja, Triq San Gorg and Triq Spinola. The site has an area of 23,950 square metres,” the case officer’s report reads.
Works on Paceville Street include the organisation of tables and chairs of establishments, the installation of street lighting and enclosures around the tables and chairs. The street will be finished in rough textured Maltese hardstone and porphyry slabs. “The proposal does not include any amendments to the pavements along the buildings and will therefore not hinder pedestrian access, ensuring a passageway of 1.5m at all times,” the case officer’s report reads. “The outdoor catering areas shall be marked by steel enclosures… These are proposed to be 0.9m in height.”
As for the Spinola Garden, it is scheduled (Grade 2) and stands adjacent to the ‘Grade 1’ scheduled Palazzo Spinola.
The case officer’s report reads that throughout the processing of the application, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage requested a survey of the site given the possible existence of historic cisterns and other features that may be related to the historic garden of the Palazzo. “The architect submitted a declaration wherein it was stated that there is no visible access from the garden to the underground cisterns and it is therefore not possible to survey these features at this stage. The declaration also stated that any clearing or excavation works (including the removal of the existing flooring, soil and/or fill) are to be monitored by an archaeologist who has to be approved and directed by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. The Superintendence noted this declaration, and found no objection to the proposal subject to monitoring conditions.”
Works on the Spinola Gardens would include the rehabilitation of the landscaping scheme and the re-organisation of a number of services. The garden is proposed to be finished in rough textured Maltese hardstone, porphyry slabs, and asphalt. The garden is also proposed to contain benches as well as soft landscaping around the perimeter of the garden. The proposal includes the construction of a tourist information kiosk to be located along the western side of Spinola Garden.
The proposal involves the uprooting of trees around the Spinola Garden, including bougainvillea bushes, flame trees, palms, cheesewood, rose bushes and two olive trees. It also includes the planting of a number of trees around the perimeter of the garden, including nettle trees, Aleppo pines, gharghar trees, judas’ trees and Italian Cypress trees among others.
“Following assessment of documentation, the ERA recommended that the executable version of the development permission together with the approved plans and the commencement notice should not be issued until such time that an application for a Nature Permit is conclusively determined by ERA.”
The case officer concluded that the proposed application is in line with Local Plan policies for the embellishment of Spinola Gardens and the organisation of street furniture along Paceville Street.
“The proposed development aims to ensure that existing recreational resources are protected, enhanced and accessible, and to facilitate the provision of new recreational facilities… no consultees objected to the proposed development, subject to conditions. In this regard the application is being recommended for approval,” subject to a number of conditions.