The Mercury House developers are looking to add a 22-storey tower adjacent to the already approved 32-storey high-rise currently being built in Paceville.

A new development application foresees a block incorporating 88 apartments, a hotel, swimming pool, retail and office space, as well as an underground spa and car park.

The developer, Joseph Portelli of J Portelli Projects, is also seeking to raise the height of the tower approved in January 2018 – which already hosts 275 apartments – by around eight metres to incorporate a residential floor, an amenity floor and a pool and bar at roof level.

Mercury House, a Grade 2 scheduled monument, and the surrounding site have been earmarked for development since a development brief approved in 2005, which originally limited the building height to 15 storeys.

An application approved by the Planning Authority in 2012 extended this to two adjacent office towers of 19 and 18 floors respectively.

Although the second tower was dropped in plans for a single 32-storey tower approved by the PA last year, it now appears to have been placed back on the table.

 The latest proposal is one of several for high-rise development in Paceville currently being considered by planners.

Among them are a 15-storey hotel proposed by the same developer close to the Intercontinental Hotel, and a 25-storey mixed-use block proposed by PX Lettings on an adjacent site.

These applications are all being considered in the absence of the long-promised Paceville master plan, a first draft of which was published in September 2016 but quickly scrapped after a public outcry.

The document fuelled controversy after it emerged that UK planning firm Mott MacDonald, which was commissioned to draft it, had been the leading consultant on the Mercury House project.

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