The Environment and Planning Review Tribunal has revoked a permit for a five-storey apartment block in Qormi, following an appeal by Din l-Art Ħelwa.

The development is situated in Triq il-Mitħna corner with Triq il-Wied.

The NGO said on Friday that the development would have compromised the historical context of the 18th-century baroque villa Dar Pinto and disrupt the low-lying traditional streetscape defining one of the oldest entrances to Qormi.

Din l-Art Ħelwa filed its appeal in October after the Planning Commission approved the development despite the serious heritage concerns raised.

The tribunal ordered the repeal of the permit and had it sent it back to the Planning Directorate.

Din l-Art Ħelwa said that, in its decision, the tribunal confirmed that the vernacular building in question, although not bearing extraordinary features, formed a part of Malta’s cultural heritage and merited protection in line with applicable policies.

It quoted a recent court judgement to highlight the importance of considering the recommendations and consultations put forward by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

Din l-Art Ħelwa insisted that any development on the site should respect the surrounding historical context and not threaten the visual integrity of the cultural heritage.

The board's decision can be read in the pdf link below.

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