I refer to the proposed development at Tarxien in the all-too-close proximity of Villa Barbaro. This edifice and its extensive unique gardens rank among the oldest of country mansions on the island. Its origins and earliest structures date to before the arrival of the Knights of St John in 1530.

The new development, if allowed to materialise, will seriously compromise and extensively damage the aesthetic aspect of this unique villa and garden complex. I trust that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, through its Heritage Committee, will take the necessary steps to prevent this.

It is imperative that any building worthy of preservation, and Villa Barbaro and its gardens have been afforded Grade 1 scheduling status, are provided with protection of their immediate contextual surroundings.

An adjacent out-of-scale new building within a few metres of Villa Barbaro’s garden boundary wall will surely have a catastrophic effect on this important example of Malta’s architectural heritage and its unique garden.

Surely this is a case where, if the new building is allowed, the additive would be solely subtractive.

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