After Successful Townsquare Appeal, Activists Turn To Pembroke For Next Environmental Win

The battle against the 37-storey skyscraper is heating up

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Following the successful appeal against the development of a skyscraper at Townsquare, Sliema, the campaign fighting against the proposed development of a 37-storey skyscraper near the Institute of Tourism Studies in Pembroke is re-doubling its efforts.

The Do Not Bury Us Alive campaign is spearheaded by the Pembroke-based Leave Pembroke Alone as well as environmental activists from all over the island. The campaign has raised concerns about the development of the skyscraper, saying it will lead to a negative effect on the quality of life of local residents.

"Many residents in the area already live one level below the road's level," said Eric Castillo, one of the organisers and a member of Moviment Graffiti. "Now with a 37-storey tower built on top of them they will literally be buried alive."

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Images from an earlier demonstration against the development

With the official objection period open for the next few weeks, the group hopes to raise awareness about the project proposed by db Group.

"Right now what's important is signing the official objection petition so we can gather a large number of objections," said Eric. "Then for everyone to come and show their support on the 16th May when we gather near the site for a demonstration."

Eric, who said that Moviment Graffiti were providing logistics to the residents, also pointed out one of the impacts the skyscraper would have.

"If built, the skyscraper's shadow would go all the way from the ITS site to the Reverse Osmosis Plant nearby," he said.

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A poster for the upcoming demonstration

One local resident spoke about why she was afraid of the developmental proposal.

"Pembroke is a lovely residential area, nice and quiet... but this will be ruined by the development. There will be loads of traffic, people and disturbances: that's how it will effect me. The building process of such a development will cause inconvenience, especially with respect to the dust this will be generated to the detriment to my family's health and sanity," said Rita Zammit, a Pembroke resident, to Lovin Malta.

"And all of this for what? So that public land is given to the wealthy to be enjoyed by the wealthy?" she asked.

Its Project As Viewed From Beach

The tower as seen from St. George's Bay

The proposal has come under fire for a number of reasons. 

Apart from the environmental concerns brought up by the residents in their objection, the project would involve giving public land that the ITS building currently sits on to the privately-owned db Group for a cool €60 million.

The public land will become a  37-storey residential tower, a 17-storey Hard Rock Hotel featuring 455 rooms, alongside a casino and a shopping mall.

An earlier Environment Impact Assessment also identified a likely adverse impact on Għar Ħarq Ħammiem, part of which lies under the proposed complex.

Do you think they should build a 37-storey skyscraper in Pembroke?

READ NEXT: 'I Find It Kind Of Funny, I Find It Kind Of Sad': Maltese Activist Speaks Out After Planning Authority Controversy


Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]