Friday 29 May 2020

Record number of objections to the db Group’s application for the excavation of the former ITS site

Over 6,000 objections to the db Group’s application for the excavation of the former ITS site (PA/05533/19) have been submitted to the Planning Authority, an all-time record. This adds to the over 4,500 objections that had been submitted to the db Group’s application for the City Centre project on the former ITS site (PA/03807/17).  The permit issued for the entire project, including the excavation part, had been struck down by the courts earlier this year. 
In July, organisations, Local Councils and residents had condemned this new application for standalone excavation as a clear attempt to evade a holistic evaluation of the full impact of the development, since this application is separate from the one already submitted by the company two years ago, but concerns the same project. This application for large scale excavation had been processed within a week, with no indication of what is to become of the excavation waste. The proposed excavation of the site also extends below the Grade 2 Scheduled building and the Cold War bunker, whilst still stating that these buildings were to somehow be ‘retained’. Excavation can also endanger the Ħarq Ħamiem cave and its surroundings, an area of natural, geological and scientific importance.
The sheer number of objections continues to evidence the widespread opposition to this project which has attracted criticism from all quarters. In July, all Local Councils around Malta and Gozo declared themselves against the project when a motion put forward in the Local Councils Association by Mario Fava, saying that the project will harm the quality of life for thousands of residents, was unanimously approved.
Residents, Local Councils and organisations will continue with their efforts to stop this db’s monument to greed; a project which shows total disrespect to residents and the environment, benefitting only those who will be raking in millions from land speculation. 
Local Councils: Pembroke, St. Julian’s and Swieqi NGOs: Archaeological Society of Malta, Bicycle Advocacy Group, BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Isles of the Left, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta and Ramblers Association

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