The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Local Councils' Association says db Group project will harm quality of life of thousands of people

Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 19:25 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Local Councils' Association has declared itself against the db Group's application to excavate the ITS site, saying that the project as a whole as is will harm the quality of life of thousands of people.

A motion was put forward by the President of the Association and PL councillor Mario Fava, and notes that on 19 June the court revoked the project's permit, declaring it null. It noted that this court appeal had been filed by NGOs as well as the Pembroke, Swieqi and St Julian's local councils.

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The motion noted that without a master plan for the area, there will be a number of separate applications in different zones of the same area that will all have different characteristics and needs, and that every application will end up being considered on an individual basis. "This will be suicide for the locality and the people in this zone." The master plan, the motion read, was to consider new infrastructure, and care for the environment in a more holistic manner, creating spaced for citizens. "The way things are happening, as happened in this application, this will not happen."

It notes that Paceville has one entrance and two exits, and noted the traffic increase such projects will create, as well as other infrastructural problems.

The motion noted that here was no obligation on the developer to make good on every kind of infrastructural improvement needed. The association noted that the only traffic measure considered dealing with the db group application on the ITS site was an underground tunnel, and reads that this will cause more inconvenience for the people. It also reads that no application has been filed for this tunnel, let alone permission granted.

The association also notes that the three local councils - Swieqi, Pembroke and St Julian's were not given the opportunity to vote on the application.

Turning to a separate application dealing with excavation on the site, the association notes that if this permit is granted, then it would be obvious that the development application would follow. The application for the excavation permit reads: "Proposed excavation of former ITS site & Wesghet Lewis V. Farrugia/Wesghet George Portanier in preparation to City Centre Development which is subject to a separate application..."

The association said: "We understand that if an excavation permit is granted, then they surely would not leave a large hole without use."

The association noted that this will result in people wanting to object being unable to argue against the impact of the whole project, as it would not form part of the initial application.

The association objected to the first stage of the application for excavation for these reasons. Arguing that it, as well as the eventual project, will damage the surrounding area and harm the quality of life of thousands of families who will see their quality of life deteriorate as a result of this project

The association asked the Planning Authority to allow the three aforementioned local councils to be represented.

The association noted that it remains available to evaluate any clarification from all concerned parties until the case is decided, and that if needed it will revise its position.

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