Planning Authority approves business centre on former Savoy hotel site

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May, 2024 at 1:25 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Planning Authority on Thursday approved the conversion of the former Savoy Hotel into a business centre, imposing a €40,000 planning gain to be used for urban improvement projects in Sliema and Gzira.

The project was given the green light with an 8-1 vote, the only dissenter being NGO representative Romano Cassar who expressed concern on the precarious traffic situation in the area.

Feedback received from Transport Malta showed no scope for infrastructural improvements, while the applicant insisted that the project itself is a planning gain a petrol station had been decommissioned.

Studies have already shown that there is little scope for junction improvements in the area, irrespective of whether the development takes place or not.

However, the study also concluded that an office block is preferable to either a hotel or a residential block, which will create even more traffic.

The new development is expected to generate an average of 168 car trips on weekdays. At peak hours, the office hub will see 47 cars entering the site between 8am and 9am and 37 cars leaving between 5pm and 6pm.

There will be four basement parking levels, a cafeteria on ground floor level and six overlying office floors, including two receded floors on top of the old building and a six-floor extension over an annex building which will be demolished.

The proposal includes the restoration, with minor alterations, of the existing dilapidated Savoy building, and the demolition of later additions.

The site covers an area of almost 1,600 square metres.

The former Savoy Hotel, previously owned by the Cuschieri family, was originally conceived as a two-storey house named Villa West End. In 1904 it started to operate as a hotel until the mid-1980s when it was closed due to the lack of maintenance and an arson attack.

- Advertisement -