Widespread opposition to DB Pembroke project must be respected

Widespread opposition to DB Pembroke project must be respected

As residents of Pembroke, with the support of three Local Councils and ten organisations, we welcome the statement by Prime Minister Robert Abela, that Government wants to strike a healthy balance between safeguarding our environment and the construction industry. This means that the Government has chosen to improve the quality of life of residents and all those who frequent Pembroke and its environs.

The DB project on the site of the former ITS in Pembroke has attracted the greatest number of official objections ever recorded. 5000 people objected to the first application and 6000 people objected to the second proposal after the Courts revoked the permit to start building. The Pembroke Local Council has repeatedly objected to the project and spoken on behalf of the community.

We fully agree with the Local Councils’ Association and its president, Mr Mario Fava, that the project causes irreparable damage to quality of life in the area. It is useless having a project that claims it will generate economic activity if it wrecks the lives of so many people. This is certainly not an example of a project that seeks to strike a balance between protecting the natural environment and residential areas and facilitating the construction industry.

We also agree with the Local Councils’ Association that when this monstrous project is again discussed by the Planning Authority, apart from the Local Council of Pembroke, the St Julian’s and Swieqi Local Councils should also be on the Planning Board. This guarantees that the voice of as many residents as possible is heard by the authorities.

The Pembroke area has been experiencing traffic congestion for a number of years and the DB project and other unsustainable megaprojects in the area, will only make matters worse by exacerbating the congestion and causing more harmful air pollution.

We agree with the plan to build a tunnel under St Andrews Road that was part of the TEN-T project. This can make life better for people living in the area and for the thousands of commuters who drive through the area every day.

On the other hand, we believe that the project proposed by Infrastructure Malta today requires substantial modification to serve more the residents, and less the Corinthia complex, DB Group and the high-rises they aspire to build which, should they acquire the Authority’s approval, will multiply the environmental issues in their surrounding areas. This would be at the expense of the people who will suffer not only with their health, but also their pockets. Moreover, we must strive to find an alternative solution to building more roads on what is today virgin land in the St Patrick’s region in Pembroke.

We therefore encourage the Prime Minister and his government, also in light of the highly critical report of the Auditor General about the sale of the public land in question, to continue giving priority to the common good and quality of life. To have high-rise buildings in areas that cannot cope with such massive structures will inevitably cause irreparable damage to our environment and our health.

Endorsements:

Local Councils: Pembroke, St. Julian’s and Swieqi
Organisations: Archaeological Society of Malta, BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Isles of the Left, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta and Żminijietna

Stqarrija Stampa 10/04/2020

L-oppożizzjoni qawwija għall-proġett tad-DB f’Pembroke għandha tiġi rrispettata

Aħna, bħala grupp ta’ residenti ta’ Pembroke, bl-appoġġ ta’ tliet Kunsilli Lokali u għaxar għaqdiet, nilqgħu l-istqarrija tal-Prim Ministru Robert Abela li l-Gvern se jara li jkun hemm bilanċ bejn l-ambjent u l-bini fil-pajjiż. Għalina dan ifisser li l-Gvern irid iħares il-kwalità tal-ħajja tar-residenti u dawk kollha li jiffrekwentaw l-inħawi ta’ Pembroke.

Il-proġett tad-DB flok l-ITS f’Pembroke huwa l-iktar proġett li qatt saru oġġezzjonijiet kontrih. 5000 ruħ kienu oġġezzjonaw għall-ewwel applikazzjoni u 6000 ruħ oġġezzjonaw għat-tieni applikazzjoni wara li l-Qorti ħassret il-permess biex jinbena. Il-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Pembroke oġġezzjona għal dan il-proġett u kien il-vuċi ewlenija tagħna r-residenti.

Kif kienet qalet l-Assoċjazzjoni li tirrappreżenta l-Kunsilli Lokali kollha ta’ Malta u Għawdex, permezz tal-president, is-Sur Mario Fava, il-proġett tad-DB jagħmel ħsara irreparabbli lill-kwalità tal-ħajja tan-nies. Inutli jkollna proġett li jgħid li se jiġġenera l-attività ekonomika meta nafu li se jħarbat il-ħajja tan-nies minflok joħloq il-ġid. Dan ċertament mhux eżempju ta’ proġett li jrid isib bilanċ bejn l-ambjent naturali, l-inħawi fejn jgħixu n-nies u l-industrija tal-bini.

Bħala residenti naqblu mal-Assoċjazzjoni tal-Kunsilli Lokali li meta jerġa’ jiġi diskuss mill-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar dan il-proġett mostruż, mal-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Pembroke għandu jkun hemm fil-bord tal-ippjanar iż-żewġ kunsilli l-oħrajn li se jintlaqtu l-aktar biex tissaħħaħ il-vuċi tan-nies komuni.

L-inħawi ta’ Pembroke diġà ilhom is-snin isofru minn konġestjoni kbira ta’ traffiku u dan il-proġett tad-DB, flimkien ma’ proġetti oħrajn ta’ bini insostenibbli fl-inħawi, se jkabbru din il-problema u joħolqu staġnar fit-traffiku u tniġġis kbir fl-arja.

Aħna naqblu mal-pjan li kien tfassal bħala parti mill-proġett tat-TEN-T biex issir mina taħt Triq Sant’Andrija. Dan jista’ jagħmel ġid kbir lil min jgħix fl-inħawi tagħna u lill-eluf ta’ nies li jgħaddu minn hemm kuljum.

Min-naħa l-oħra, nemmnu li dak li qiegħda tipproponi Infrastructure Malta llum jeħtieġ jiġi mmodifikat sostanzjalment sabiex jaġevola aktar lir-residenti, u anqas lill-kumpless tal-Corinthia u lil DB Group u t-torrijiet li jridu jibnu, li jekk jiġu approvati se jkabbru sew il-problemi ambjentali, a spejjeż tal-poplu li għalih mhux biss ser iħallas b’saħħtu, imma anke b’butu. Fuq kollox jeħtieġ tinstab soluzzjoni alternattiva għall-bini ta’ toroq fuq dik li sa llum għadha kampanja fl-akkwata ta’ San Patrizju.

Għaldaqstant inħeġġu lill-Prim Ministru u lill-Gvern, anki fid-dawl tar-rapport kritiku ħafna tal-Awditur Ġenerali dwar il-bejgħ tal-art pubbliku inkwistjoni, biex ikompli jagħti prijorità lill-ġid komuni u l-kwalità tal-ħajja tan-nies. Inutli li jkollna l-bini fi nħawi li ma jifilħux għalih u minflok ġid jagħmel ħsara irreparabbli lill-ambjent u lil saħħitna.

Bl-appoġġ ta’:

Kunsilli Lokali: Pembroke, San Ġiljan u Swieqi
Għaqdiet: Archaeological Society of Malta, BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Isles of the Left, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta u Żminijietna