EXTENSIVE RESTORATION PROJECT AT FORT ST. ANGELO GIVEN GO AHEAD
The MEPA Board earlier today granted a planning permit for extensive restoration and conservation works to be carried out in and around a large part of Fort St Angelo. This approved project will ensure that this cultural heritage asset is not only safeguarded but given new life.
The first phase of the approved project will include conservation works for the adaptive re-use of the middle level of the Fort including the barrack blocks and the cavalier. The works include the reconstruction of historical features, which are considered relevant to defining the Fort and structures that were removed in the recent years or have deteriorated. This phase will also include the change of use for Museum space and supporting facilities while the main piazza will be paved with flagstones.
During phase two works will include the restoration and adaptive re-use of the lower level of the Fort including the ramparts below the Cavalier, D’Homedes Bastion and the area around the passageway leading down to De Guiral Battery. Apart from these conservation works, other interventions will include the addition of sanitary facilities and the reinstatement of two traverse walls.
Phase three of the approved project relate to works which will consolidate and conserve the outer fortifications of the Fort, including the structures of the De Guiral Battery. During this phase major works will be focused on the re-construction of the embrasure adjoining the Cavalier on the east side and the underpinning and replacing the ‘missing volume’ of rock faces, especially in the area overlooking Kalkara Creek and the Menqa areas.
The project excludes the upper part of the Fort, which is administered by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) and the areas being redeveloped by the Cottonera Waterfront Group.
Although the exact details of the earlier use of the site, where Fort St Angelo is built is not clear, however, the site is linked to the pre-historic period. Today's layout of the Fort is largely attributed to the design of Colonel Don Carlos de Grunenburgh who in the late 17th Century, paid for the construction of four gun batteries on the side of the fort facing the entrance to Grand Harbour. Grunenburgh was also responsible for the construction of the rest of the enceinte around the upper part of the Fort and also the main gate.
The MEPA Board this morning also suspended its decision on whether or not to grant a development permit for the construction of apartments and the restoration of Villa Fieres in Spinola Bay St.Julians. During this public hearing, the Board was informed by the applicant that he reduced the mass effect of the proposed development decreased the number of apartments from 21 to 14 and eliminated the top floor. During the hearing, a sanitary issue was debated which falls outside the competence of MEPA. The MEPA Board decided to suspend the decision until this issue is settled by the General Services Board.