DB’s monster in Pembroke recommended for approval

What’s the point of PA consultation processes if wide and strong opposition is totally ignored?

Organisations have expressed their indignation at the Planning Authority’s (PA) indifference towards thousands of citizens who have forcefully objected to the DB Group’s hideous project in Pembroke. The case officer’s report issued by the Authority recommends that the DB application gets the go-ahead from the Planning Board in a sitting on Thursday 10th June at 10am.

The organisations have submitted to the PA their representations to the case officer’s report stating that the recommendation for approval totally ignores the concerns raised by three Local Councils, Pembroke, Swieqi and St. Julian’s, as well as by many organisations and a record number of objectors. The DB’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 organisations have questioned the point of the PA carrying out a consultation process if the feedback given, in this case a strong opposition to this project from all quarters, is so easily shrugged off.

Organisations had also filed an appeal against the approval of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which presents a flawed, unsubstantiated and incomplete assessment. For example, the EIA considers the excavation of a tunnel under a Natura 2000 site, which is not included in the application, as a mitigating factor, but refuses to consider the negative environmental impacts of the tunnel.

The organisations are urging people to attend the Planning Board sitting on Thursday 10th June at 10am and make their submissions against the project by registering from here. In 2018, the developer brought his workers to intervene during the meeting in order to fake support for a project that has been opposed by everyone. Thus, it is important that people participate in the sitting and show their anger at the construction of DB’s monster.

The organisations, together with Local Councils and thousands of objectors, are fully determined to continue opposing this horrendous project which will leave a massive negative impact on the social, urban and environmental contexts, now and for generations to come.

ACT
Din l-Art Ħelwa
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
Friends of the Earth Malta
Moviment Graffitti
Ramblers Association of Malta
Rota
Sustainable Build Environment Malta
Żminijietna – Voice of the Left

 


 

Il-mostru tad-DB f’Pembroke rakkommandat għall-approvazzjoni

X’inhu l-punt ta’ konsultazzjoni pubblika mill-PA meta l-oppożizzjoni qawwija tal-poplu tiġi injorata?

Numru ta’ organizzazzjonijiet esprimew ir-rabja tagħhom għall-indifferenza tal-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar (PA) lejn l-eluf ta’ ċittadini li oġġezzjonaw bil-qawwa kollha kontra l-proġett orrendi tad-DB Group f’Pembroke. Ir-rapport tal-case officer, maħruġ mill-Awtorità jirrakkomanda li l-applikazzjoni tad-DB tingħata l-barka tal-Bord tal-Ippjanar li se jiltaqa’ nhar il-Ħamis, 10 ta’ Ġunju fl-10.00 ta’ filgħodu.

L-organizzazzjonijiet issottomettew l-oġġezzjonijiet tagħhom għar-rapport tal-case officer fejn qalu li din ir-rakkomandazzjoni tinjora għal kollox id-diversi punti ta’ tħassib li qajmu t-tliet Kunsilli Lokali ta’ Pembroke, tas-Swieqi u ta’ San Ġiljan, kif ukoll ħafna organizzazzjonijiet u numru rekord ta’ persuni li oġġezzjonaw. L-iżvilupp propost mid-DB, fuq art li qabel kienet pubblika, jikkonsisti f’żewġ torrijiet residenzjali ta’ 17 u 18-il sular il-wieħed u lukanda ta’ 12-il sular. Dawn se jitilgħu litteralment faċċata ta’ żona residenzjali kbira f’Pembroke u eżatt ħdejn żewġ siti ta’ Natura 2000. Il-proġett se jinbena wkoll madwar u fuq żewġ siti skedati, St George’s barracks u Għar Ħarq il-Ħamiem, sistema ta’ għerien terrestri ta’ valur ġeoloġiku u ekoloġiku uniku, kif ukoll siti oħrajn ta’ valur storiku. Ir-residenzi kemm-il darba esprimew l-inkwiet tagħhom dwar id-daqs enormi u l-intensità ta’ dan l-iżvilupp sproporzjonat f’żona primarjament residenzjali kif ukoll it-tħassib tagħhom dwar kif Paceville huwa mistenni li jkun estiż u jibqa’ dieħel f’Pembroke.

L-organizzazzjonijiet staqsew ukoll x’inhu l-punt li l-PA tagħmel proċess ta’ konsultazzjoni meta mbagħad ir-reazzjoni tal-pubbliku, li f’dan il-każ kienet oppożizzjoni qawwija għal dan il-proġett minn kull naħa, tkun injorata għal kollox daqslikieku qatt ma saret.

L-organizzazzjonijiet kienu wkoll appellaw kontra l-approvazzjoni tal-Assessjar tal-Impatt Ambjentali (EIA) tal-proġett, fejn ġiet ippreżentata valutazzjoni żbaljata li la hi kompluta u lanqas sostanzjata. Per eżempju l-EIA jikkunsidra l-iskavar ta’ mina taħt is-sit ta’ Natura 2000, li mhix inkluża fl-applikazzjoni, bħala fattur mitiganti, imma jirrifjuta li jikkunsidra l-impatti ambjentali negattivi tal-mina.

L-organizzazzjonijiet qegħdin iħeġġu lill-membri tal-pubbliku biex jattendu s-seduta tal-Bord tal-Ippjanar nhar il-Ħamis 10 ta’ Ġunju biex jagħmlu s-sottomissjonijiet tagħhom kontra l-proġett billi jirreġistraw hawn. Fl-2018, l-iżviluppatur ġab il-ħaddiema tiegħu biex jintervjenu waqt il-laqgħa biex taparsi hemm min irid dan il-proġett li kulħadd qiegħed jopponi. Għalhekk huwa importanti li n-nies jipparteċipaw f’din is-seduta u juru r-rabja tagħhom għall-kostruzzjoni ta’ dan il-mostru tad-DB.

L-organizzazzjonijiet, flimkien mal-Kunsilli Lokali u eluf ta’ persuni li oġġezzjonaw, huma determinati li jkomplu jopponu dan il-proġett orrend li se jħalli impatt negattiv enormi fuq livell soċjali, urban u ambjentali kemm fil-preżent kif ukoll fuq ġenerazzjonijiet futuri.

ACT
Din l-Art Ħelwa
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar
Friends of the Earth Malta
Moviment Graffitti
Ramblers Association of Malta
Rota
Sustainable Build Environment Malta
Żminijietna – Voice of the Left

 

The Tal-Wej area : an extensive open space consisting of garigue rich in archaeological heritage was recently proposed by ERA as a Natura 2000 site under the EU Habitats Directive. Malta currently has around 44 km2 of terrestrial Natura 2000 sites amounting to just 13% of the land surface area. A few land owners are objecting to this ERA proposal and submitted their appeal to the EPRT (Environment and Planning Review Tribunal).

The EPRT is holding a site visit at Tal-Wej (limits of Naxxar and Mosta) on Thursday, 27th May. This site visit, for which the Objectors and their lawyers as well as ERA technical personnel will be present, is presumably being held to hear the reasons why the area should not be given Natura 2000 status.

The undersigned NGOs contend that this is not the appropriate time of year to assess and appraise this site of great ecological and cultural significance because, as the climate is bi-seasonal, certain very significant aspects of the unique ecology of this area will not be apparent due to the process of aestivation which enables flora and fauna to survive the harsh dry summer. While the area’s archaeological and cultural assets can be viewed with ease, the surface waters which provide the evidence for certain aspects of the ecology have already dried up, and with it all flora. Fauna such as frogs burrow deep in soils and other crustaceans survive as spores.

Good practice dictates that such assessments should be carried out in an integrated manner which is certainly not the case here. Conducting an inappropriately-scheduled site visit could have a bias effect which could well lead to a decision to downgrade the area’s protection status. This would be an unprofessional and unethical approach to this exceedingly sensitive and ecologically valuable asset of Tal-Wej.

In a press conference held in 26th October 2020, Minister Aaron Farrugia was quoted as saying:

“Our natural heritage needs to be protected just like any other form of heritage. The extent to which future generations can enjoy our natural environment depends on how far we are willing to protect it.’

Source: press release was issued by DOI on behalf of The ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning (MECP)

The NGOs sincerely hope that the EPRT fulfills the statement aired by Minister Farrugia.

The following NGOs have endorsed this PR

1. Nature Trust Malta

2. BirdLife Malta

3. Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar

4. Friends of the Earth Malta

5. Moviment Graffitti

6. FB group: Conservation of Tal-Wej Area