The Hotel Royale Victoire, a six-storey hotel, is set to replace former HSBC Mellieħa branch and neighbouring building in Gorg Borg Olivier street.
The planning application (PA/7247/23) submitted by Jarom Investments, details demolition and excavation to make way for the three-star hotel that includes basement parking, stores, a hair salon, along with a cafeteria and a restaurant.
This would mean that the proposed building, to be developed in Gorg Borg Olivier Street, will be only a few steps away from Solana Hotel & Spa and Maritim Antoine Hotel & Spa. Additionally, it will also be in close proximity to other hotels and B&B’s adding to the already touristic industry of the locality.
Media reports state that the MTA confirmed that it has already approved the proposed development and issued a tourism policy compliance certificate.
In its own website, the MTA explains that any collective accommodation development requires a licence from the authority. This includes hotels and other hotel-type accommodation establishments such as apart-hotels, serviced apartments, hostels, guest houses, boutique hotels, tourist villages and other similar establishments as decreed by the MTA.
However, Minister for Tourism, responsible for MTA and whose electoral district includes Mellieħa, expressed his disapproval for the development on Facebook, shortly after reports were made public.
Although he made it clear that the final approval of the development is still in progress, he is against the proposal “for various reasons that go beyond touristic objectives.”
He also expressed concern about several issues that impact that area of Mellieħa, including “traffic in Gorg Borg Olivier Street, the difference in elevations between different parts of the proposed elevations and subsequently the height and density of the proposed buildings.”
Despite so, he added that at this stage, all necessary studies should be carried out “so that one can understand what the impact of this proposed development would be on the locality. That is why I believe that the application should not be approved.”
The former HSBC Branch in question has been vacant since 2020, after the bank’s announcement of its closure along with branches in San Ġwann, Żabbar and Żebbug. These closures were subsequent to eight other branch closures in 2019.
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