The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

DB proposed project ‘one of the worst proposed’ in years and should be turned down – NGO

Jake Aquilina Tuesday, 8 June 2021, 19:17 Last update: about 10 days ago

The db project, which will see a 12 storey hotel and two residential towers with a height of 17 and 18 floors respectively constructed, is 'one of the worst proposed' NGO Moviment Graffitti has seen, it said during a protest against the proposed project.

The PA is set to decide on the project next Thursday, which will see 179 apartments, 386 hotel rooms, 1,267 parking spaces, and a shopping mall built in a residential area in Pembroke.

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This application has been at the heart of controversy since it was originally made public years ago. It has also undergone quite a number of changes since the original proposal.

Originally, the proposed development was granted permission on 20 September 2018 by the Planning Board. Back then, the application permitted the construction of an 18 storey hotel and a 38 storey tall building, among other things.

Eventually, the Court of Appeal declared the permit null, due to a conflict of interest by one of the board members who approved the project. As such, the application was sent back to the drawing board.

The new proposal saw a reduction in height, with a 12 storey hotel and two residential towers with a height of 17 and 18 floors respectively planned. The application also includes a shopping mall, among other things. The case officer's report reads that "the project would also include over 7,000 sqm of public space, which vary from pedestrian areas, covered areas, drop offs and landscaping zones."

"How can the authority which regulates such construction not listen to the people who are objecting?" a spokesperson for Moviment Graffitti questioned, highlighting the thousands who are against the project.

The group said that this will see Paceville seep through the Pembroke area as well, generating a lot of traffic and chaos, as the project will "cause a lot of harm to a lot of people for the benefit of select few."

The Local Councilors of the surrounding area also voiced their concern in this regard.

One resident living there said that they "are not being heard" and that the PA "is running over us... they are going to damage the way we live." 

Andre Callus, from Moviment Graffitti said that whether this project is approved or not symbolizes something bigger. "This is about what future we are imagining for Malta and Gozo: whether it is in the hands of the many or a handful of rich people," he said.

This would ruin the present and future of residents in the surrounding area, he remarked, as well as "use public funds in order to build a tunnel leading to it".

Callus appealed to the PA to consider the damage that they are going to do to the surrounding area. "Two days before, we appeal, listen to your conscience, and you will see that you will not have any reason to accept such a monstrous project."

"If this project gets approved, we will continue with our work," Callus remarked.   


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