New moves in court to fight DB project

Three Local Councils together with several organisations and residents have filed two court actions against the approval of the DB project on the former ITS site, Moviment Graffitti said in a statement.

One court action appeals the approval by the Environment Resources Authority (ERA) of a highly defective Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project, while the other court action appeals the Planning Board’s go-ahead to the project which disregarded planning policies and involved an unfair and irregular process.

The two court actions were filed following the rejection of the organisation’s two appeals by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) last month.

“The EPRT decision to reject our appeals was expected since the Tribunal has an abysmal track record of consistently ruling against objectors and in favour of the Planning Authority (PA) and other powerful forces. In 2019, the EPRT had also rejected our appeal against the first approval of the DB project, but its ruling was later overturned by the court, which cancelled the DB permit,” Moviment Graffitti said.

DB Group’s proposed development on formerly public land is composed of two residential towers of 17 and 18 storeys each, and a hotel of 12 storeys. “These would rise literally across the road of a large residential area in Pembroke and next to two Natura 2000 sites. The project would also be built around and on top of the scheduled St. George’s barracks and the scheduled Għar Ħarq il-Ħamiem cave, a submerged terrestrial cave system of unique geological and ecological value, as well as other sites of historical significance.”

“Residents have repeatedly expressed their alarm about the massiveness and intensity of this disproportionate development in a predominantly residential area and the foreseen spillover of Paceville into Pembroke.,” the NGO added.

The Court appeals were filed by the local councils of Pembroke, St Julian’s and Swieqi together with their resident associations. Environmental NGOs Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, The Archaeological Society Malta, Rota, Nature Trust and Friends of the Earth Malta joined Movimentt Graffitti in the appeal.

BirdLife Malta, Ramblers Association of Malta and Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Malta, supported the initiative.

                           
                               
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