The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Construction on db City Centre project suspended until appeal is decided

Albert Galea Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 17:35 Last update: about 2 years ago

The construction of the controversial db City Centre project in Pembroke has been suspended until an appeal against the project, which is being carried out by db group, is heard.

The project will be built on the former ITS site, and is planned to take the form of a 38 storey tower and a 17 storey hotel.   It was approved last September by the Planning Authority despite a record of over 4,000 objections filed against the projects.  10 members of the PA board voted in favour of the project, whilst four voted against.

Since the decision to approve the project, a funding campaign was launched by several NGOs and three local councils with the aim of gathering money to fund an appeal.  Indeed, Moviment Graffitti had said that €24,350 in donations had been gathered, which was enough to be able to institute the appeal. 

One of the requests within this appeal was that construction works be suspended until the full appeal is decided, a request which was accepted by the Tribunal for Appeals on Tuesday.

This means that the full appeal must be decided in the space of three months.

Aside from a number of NGOs such as Moviment Graffitti and Din l-Art Helwa, the three local councils in the area of the project - Pembroke, Swieqi and St. Julians - were all against the plans.  Indeed, Pembroke mayor Dean Hili was one of the four who voted against the project last September.  PA Chairperson Vince Cassar, PN representative Marthese Portelli and the ENGO representative on the board also voted against the project.

The decision later courted further controversy after it emerged that the PA hired a private jet to fly board member Jacqueline Gili to Malta for the vote, along with the discovery of alleged conflicts of interest concerning fellow board members Matthew Pace and Clayton Bartolo, the latter being the Labour party's representative on the board, which they both deny.



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