Times of Malta, 20 May 2008 – Malta’s broadcasting landmarks – Television House and Rediffusion House in Guardamangia – will remain standing after the state broadcaster, Public Broadcasting Services Ltd (PBS) yesterday withdrew an application to demolish them, the government said.

Television House and Rediffusion House were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.

The application was withdrawn after Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi wrote to Education Minister Dolores Cristina, who is also responsible for state broadcasting, urging the management to pull the plug on the application.

Following discussions between the Prime Minister and Ms Cristina, the minister directed the PBS chairman to withdraw the application since the building was considered to be an example of quality modern architecture and a broadcasting landmark.

Ms Cristina also asked the chairman to seek alternative solutions to develop the PBS facilities.

PBS had applied to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (Mepa) to tear down the building to construct new headquarters, an apartment complex and commercial premises.

The application was recommended for refusal by Mepa’s internal consulting bodies and by the Planning Directorate. However, on April 24, the authority decided to postpone the decision on account of the fact that submissions by PBS’s architect countering the directorate’s recommendation were handed in at the 11th hour.

It is the first time that a government application has been halted by the Prime Minister since he assumed responsibility for a reform at Mepa.