The Malta Independent 24 September 2021, Friday

Appeal against db Group Pembroke project filed

Tuesday, 27 July 2021, 12:23 Last update: about 3 months ago

Three local councils, nine organisations and several Pembroke residents have filed an appeal with the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) against the Planning Board’s decision to give the go-ahead to the db Group’s project on the ex-ITS site.

“The appeal was made possible thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, during which a total of €20,000 were collected from hundreds of donors,” the appellants said in a statement.

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The appellants are requesting the annulment of the PA decision allowing the db Group to build two towers - one which is 18 storeys and the other which is 17 storeys -  and a 12-storey hotel, “on public land in Pembroke in a residential area and with disastrous impacts on important historical sites and areas of great natural sensitivity.”

In their appeal, the local councils, organisations and residents outline several grounds for the revocation of the permit, including the project’s “non-conformity with many planning policies, the defective and incomplete studies submitted by the developer and a manipulated process leading to an unfair Planning Board meeting and decision.”

The db Group project has been under scrutiny for a number of years. The project was originally approved back in 2018. “Legal actions undertaken following the 2018 decision had ultimately led to the cancellation of the 2018 permit,” the appellants said. Following that, the application again went through the Planning Authority process, although the design plans had been changed. The application was recently approved.

“The strong public response to the recent crowdfunding campaign will once again enable the appellants to take the full range of possible legal actions aimed at the revocation of the db permit.”

Aside from the application being filed against the PA’s decision, another appeal challenging the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) decision to approve the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the db project is already underway.”

“We take this opportunity to thank the public for the strong support shown in this battle against greed that has been waged for over four years. We commit ourselves to making every possible effort to stop big business and public authorities from running roughshod over the people’s will to protect its environment and quality of life.”

The appeal was filed by: the Pembroke Local Council, the St. Julian’s Local Council, the Swieqi Local Council, ACT Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta, Rota, Sustainable Built Environment Malta, The Archaeological Society Malta, Ten Pembroke and Swieqi residents with the support of: BirdLife Malta and Ramblers Association of Malta.

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