DB Group’s City Centre project on the former ITS site in Pembroke has been approved by the Planning Board.
Four board members voted in favour of the project, with three voting against it. Omar Vella, Omar Arab, and Gilmour Camilleri voted against it. Martin Camilleri, Saviour Debono Grech, Sean Mangion and Perit Duncan Mifsud voted in favour.
Earlier today, five board members recused themselves from the meeting – including Planning Board Chairman Vince Cassar, environment authority Chairman Victor Axiak, and NGO representative Annick Bonello.
The decision has already been criticised by activists.
“In a useless meeting – since it is clear that the decision had been taken beforehand – we saw pathetic and arrogant presentations by the developer and the PA, as well as many submissions by alarmed residents and citizens. However, the Board chose to ignore the desperate calls of thousands of residents, three Local Councils and many organisations, and instead considered only the private profits of Silvio Debono,” Moviment Graffitti said.
The project will see the construction of two 17-storey towers and a 12-storey hotel. It has been years of controversy for the project, which had gone before the court and had its previous permit revoked.
It was revoked because then Planning Board member, Matthew Pace, had a conflict of interest in the project and had a financial interest for it to be approved. Pace has recently been charged in connection to a money-laundering investigation linked to former Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Over 17,000 objections have been submitted since plans were first announced, with NGOs and local councils in the area leading the charge.
This is a breaking story and will be updated soon