Appeal against PA’s decision on db Group project to be filed in coming days – activist

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July, 2021 at 1:15 pm by Andre Camilleri

Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus has confirmed that the appeal against the Planning Authority’s (PA) decision to approve the db Group project in Pembroke will be filed in the coming days.

On 10 June, the Planning Authority approved the controversial db Group project in Pembroke, despite objections from local councils, residents and environmental groups. It was approved with four votes in favour and three against, after five other members of the board recused themselves from the vote.

Speaking with the Malta Independent, Callus said that a significant amount of funds have been collected for the legal proceedings against the project. The crowdfunding campaign that was launched to finance legal action against the project has come to an end, but the public still have the possibility to donate. A total of around €20,000 was collected through the campaign, which was organised by a number of local organisations.

The plans for the Pembroke project include the construction of two 18-storey towers and a 12-storey hotel at the site that was previously occupied by the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS).

A separate appeal was already filed against an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) related to the plans, but this was done prior to the Planning Authority’s approval of the whole project. Callus said that the project is located in a residential area, and negatively impacts important historical sites and areas of great natural sensitivity.

“The EIA appeal has already been filed and the case is ongoing. The first hearing has not taken place yet, but this should commence soon, whilst the appeal against the PA’s decision will be filed in the coming days,” Callus said.

The PA had initially approved the ITS db Group project back in 2018 and a crowdfunding campaign was also launched back then to finance legal action. The multiple legal battles ultimately led to the revocation of the 2018 permit, after a court declared that one of the board members at the time, Matthew Pace, had a conflict of interest. The design of the project was eventually changed and again went through the planning process, leading to the latest approval.

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