Object to db Group excavation of former ITS site

Object to db Group excavation of former ITS site

PA permit application PA/05533/19

Residents, Local Councils and NGOs condemn ruse to splice and dice ITS application to evade holistic assessment of huge project

In view of the db Group’s separate development application for the proposed excavation of the former ITS site (PA/05533/19), residents, three Local Councils and ten NGOs are encouraging the public to submit an objection to the Planning Authority (PA). Although this application is separate to the one already submitted by the company two years ago, it concerns the same project. This project, which has already been rejected by public opinion, will have very negative permanent effects on all aspects of the quality of life of residents in the vicinity of the proposed massively disproportionate buildings and of those who live and work in the surrounding towns and villages. Persons can object by using this online form and they can do so until Monday 26th August.

The application for standalone excavation is a clear case of an attempt to evade a holistic evaluation of the full impacts of the development. It is obvious that the whole planning and assessment procedure is being split into many stages to avoid having a study on the whole, final, gargantuan project and its environmental and related impacts.

This application for large scale excavation has 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’. Such a damaging request, being proposed in isolation of the intended colossal development, is completely unacceptable.

It is also to be highlighted that excavation of the former ITS site was part of the db Group’s permit that has been struck down by court. Filing a separate application for excavation at this stage is clearly in contempt of court and a blatant ruse to circumvent the effects of the ruling. It is illogical to request a permit for excavation in relation to a project for which there is no permit in hand. Such an application can mean only two things: that the approval of the whole project is a foregone conclusion, thus admitting that the planning system is a farce, or that there is the risk of excavations taking place without the project being eventually approved, leaving a massive hole and a site ruined beyond repair. It is one way or the other.

Following the courtroom victory which annulled the permit issued by the PA Board for the City Centre project, residents, Local Councils and NGOs vow to continue forcefully opposing the db Group’s megalomaniac plans that would have devastating impacts on the quality of life and the environment.

Local Councils: Pembroke, St. Julian’s and Swieqi
NGOs: Archaeological Society MaltaBicycle Advocacy Group – BirdLife Malta – Din l-Art Helwa – FAA Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar – Friends of the Earth Malta – The IotL Magazine – Moviment Graffitti – Nature Trust – FEE Malta and Ramblers Malta

***********************

STQARRIJA STAMPA KONGUNTA

Residenti, Kunsilli Lokali u NGOs jikkundannaw l-attentat sabiex l-applikazzjoni tal-ITS tiġi maqsuma biċċiet biex tiġi evitata evalwazzjoni olistika ta’ dal-proġett enormi

Fid-dawl tal-applikazzjoni separata għall-iżvilupp mid-db Group għat-tħaffir ta’ dak li kien is-sit tal-ITS (PA/05533/19), residenti, tliet Kunsilli Lokali u għaxar NGOs qiegħdin jinkoraġġixxu l-pubbliku sabiex jissottometti oġġezzjoni lill-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar (PA). Għalkemm hija separata minn dik li l-kumpanija ssottomettiet sentejn ilu, din l-applikazzjoni tikkonċerna l-istess proġett. Dan il-proġett, li diġà ġie riġettat mill-opinjoni pubblika, se jkollu impatti negattivi permanenti fuq kull aspett tal-kwalità tal-ħajja tar-residenti li jgħixu fl-akkwati tal-binjiet sproporzjonati u massivi li qiegħdin jiġu proposti, u ta’ dawk li jgħixu u jaħdmu fl-irħula u l-postijiet tal-madwar. Kull min hu interessat jista’ joġġezzjona billi juża din il-formola online u jista’ jagħmel dan sas-26 t’Awwissu.

Din l-applikazzjoni separata hija każ ċar ta’ attentat biex tiġi evitata evalwazzjoni olistika tal-impatti kollha tal-iżvilupp. Huwa ovvju li l-proċedura kollha tal-ippjanar qed tinqasam f’ħafna stadji sabiex jiġi evitat studju sħiħ dwar il-proġett finali kollu u l-impatti ambjentali u impatti oħrajn ta’ dan l-iżvilupp mostruż.

L-applikazzjoni għal tħaffir ta’ skala kbira ġiet proċessata fi żmien ġimgħa, mingħajr ebda indikazzjoni dwar x’se jsir mill-iskart tat-tħaffir. It-tħaffir propost tas-sit jestendi wkoll taħt il-Bini Skedat ta’ Grad 2 u l-bunker minn żmien il-Gwerra Bierda, filwaqt li l-proposta tindika li dawn il-binjiet suppost jiġu “miżmuma”. Huwa kompletament inaċċettabbli li din it-talba qiegħda tiġi proposta f’iżolazzjoni mill-bqja tal-iżvilupp kolossali.

Għandu jiġi enfasizzat li t-tħaffir ta’ dak li kien is-sit tal-ITS kien parti mill-permess tad-db Group li ġie kkanċellat mill-qorti. F’dan l-istadju, l-applikazzjoni separata li ġiet ippreżentata għat-tħaffir ċarament tindika disprezz lejn id-deċiżjoni tal-qorti u hija mezz qarrieqi li l-iżviluppaturi qiegħdin jużaw biex jaħarbu minn din id-deċiżjoni. Mhuwiex loġiku li titlob permess għal tħaffir li jagħmel parti minn proġett li għalih m’hemmx permess. Din l-applikazzjoni tista’ tfisser biss żewġ affarijiet: li l-approvazzjoni tal-proġett sħiħ hija deċiżjoni mittieħda diġa, indikazzjoni ċara li s-sistema tal-ippjanar hija biss farsa, jew inkella li hemm riskju li t-tħaffir isir mingħajr ma l-proġett ikun eventwalment approvat u li titħalla toqba enormi f’sit irvinat għal kollox. Tista’ tkun biss waħda jew l-oħra.

Wara r-rebħa fil-qorti fejn ġie annullat il-permess maħruġ mill-Bord tal-PA għall-proġett tas-City Centre, residenti, Kunsilli Lokali u NGOs jisħqu li huma ser ikomplu jopponu bis-sħiħ il-pjanijiet megalomaniċi tad-db Group illi beħsiebhom iħallu impatti devastanti fuq il-kwalità tal-ħajja u l-ambjent tagħna.

Kunsilli Lokali: Pembroke, San Ġiljan u s-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 u Ramblers Association