Developers behind plans for a luxury resort in Comino will file new plans for the development that will not see the proposed bungalows stretch beyond the existing footprint.

HV Hospitality had previously filed a planning application seeking to redevelop the existing hotel and bungalows in the area of San Niklaw and Santa Marija bay in Comino, which is set to be operated as a Six Senses resort upon completion.

The plans received hundreds of objections and face opposition from activist groups and NGOs, who argue that it does not make sense to develop a hotel on such an ecologically sensitive site as Comino.

The developers have defended the project, saying they have always sought to approach the project in a sustainable way and argued that their plans for the site will see an overall reduction of 5,122 square metres in the project’s built footprint.

HV Hospitality’s initial submitted plans had proposed a total reduction of 7,154 square metres of the footprint of the hotel site at San Niklaw Bay, which was offset by a larger take-up at the bungalow site in Santa Maria of around 2,032 square metres, leading to an overall reduction of 5,122 square metres.

However, it is now understood that in plans the developers are expected to file with the Planning Authority on Monday, HV Hospitality will no longer be seeking the compensation in footprint at the bungalow site and the proposed bungalows will not extend beyond the existing footprint of the structures currently in place.

The updated plans are now expected to show an overall reduction in the project’s footprint of 8,244 square metres when compared to the existing commitments onsite. The proposed bungalows will still recede from the foreshore and be lower in height than the existing structures.

A spokesperson for HV Hospitality confirmed the change in plans and said that they had come about as a result of the concerns raised by stakeholders.

“Our public exhibition about the project was a genuine listening exercise. We have always aimed to find the best way forward for this unique site, one that considers environmental sustainability and respects the natural beauty of the area,” the spokesperson said.

“The amendments we will submit strike the right balance between the public’s concerns, the site requirements and the touristic needs envisioned by the concession and the local plans.”

The spokesperson added that as part of the developers’ commitment to safeguarding Comino, which is a Natura 2000 site, invasive and alien species will be removed from the area and more than 55,000 endemic trees, plants and shrubs will be planted.

The project is also targeting the top LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the world, which is currently enjoyed by only around 20 hotels worldwide.

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