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Pembroke Residents And Moviment Graffitti Urge PA To Reject ‘Monstrous’ High-Rise Project

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Environmental activists and local residents have urged Malta’s Planning Authority to reject a major high-rise project in Pembroke.

The project, which will see a tower and hotel built in the town as part of DB Group’s City Centre Project, was called “one of the worst projects ever proposed in our country” by activists who have been protesting the developing for four years now.

In a public event yesterday, a number of NGOs, residents as well as the St Julian’s and Swieqi local councils gathered to object the project, saying that they were still against any newly-revised plans for the project. The event came just days before a board meeting later this week is set to decide the future of the project.

“It is good to remember why, after four years, we are in this situation. The project was approved by the Planning Board in 2018 during a farcical meeting,” activists said. “Nevertheless, several NGOs, three Local Councils and several residents, along with the support of many others, initiated various legal proceedings against this decision and managed to win a court case which revoked the permit granted to the DB.”

“Following many changes to the plans, the DB group submitted new plans consisting of a 12-storey hotel and two 17- and 18-storey residential towers,” they continued. “This translates into only a minimal change in the total size of the project.”

They noted that over four objection periods, the public submitted a national record of around 17,000 representations to the Planning Authority.

“We are therefore very disappointed with the PA case officer report that is recommending the approval of this project, which is meaningless and useless for the community and for our country. How can the Authority, which has the public responsibility for regulating buildings in Malta, ignore such a large number of objections like they mean nothing?” they asked.

“This is one of the worst projects which have ever been proposed in our country.”

“Not only will it be taking public land, but its disproportionate size in the sensitive areas it will be built in will have a disastrous impact on both people and the environment,” they said.

Activists noted that two ecological sites near to the project – the barracks of St George and Għar Ħarq Ħamiem – may be gravely affected by the development as well.

“If the Planning Board is to look at fair and sustainable planning, environmental protection, and the quality of life for thousands of residents and visitors, it is obvious that it should categorically reject this project which will cause so much damage to our quality of life and the environment,” activists ended.

“Today we are asking: is the Board able to hear the voice of the people and the voice of reason, or will it once again be the puppet of great commercial interests and not care about our quality of life and the environment that it is supposed to protect and improve?”

Do you think the Pembroke project should be scrapped?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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