Malta's La Toc Hotels proposes to redevelop Dingli explosives factory as a resort

Dingli Cliffs, Malta ©iStock / YassminKa

In Malta, Valletta-based La Toc Hotels—owned by Dirk Hili, Bianca Anastasi and Veli Holdings—has applied to redevelop the existing licensed Pulvich Explosives Industries factory in the northern village of Dingli into a resort and spa. According to MaltaToday, the existing site would be excavated to accommodate the new facilities. 

The site of the factory is designated as one of "High Landscape Value," and it is a buffer zone to an ecological conservation site. Although the proposed redevelopment is limited to the already-developed site, development on the site could attract further traffic and urban development in the area—a cause of concern for environmental groups.   

In 2009, a previous application on the same site, which was outside development zones, was presented by the government to redevelop the building into a fireworks factory. Three years later, the application was rejected because the site is a rural conservation area and for safety reasons. Former Dingli mayor and current minister of planning and transport Ian Borg objected to the development because it was in the Natura 2000 protected site and a special area of conservation. 

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Early this month, Bongal Limited applied to redevelop a beach concession, which would include the construction of a swimming pool with attached facilities, a bar and a cafeteria as part of the Parkland Hotel, Qawra. In the same week, an application was presented to redevelop Sliema's Villino Zammit—a Grade 2-listed building—into a boutique hotel. As part of the development, the existing wall along Triq San Nikola would be demolished to extend the proposed hotel and to construct guestrooms. The Planning Authority approved an application to restore the building as a residence. The renovations would include minor alterations, constructing a swimming pool and demolishing a garage along Triq San Nikola. However, the facade along Triq San Nikola would be retained.