The db Group’s application for the excavation of the former ITS site has been met with extremely negative responses, with over 6,000 objections being submitted to the Planning Authority ever since the proposal was made back in July, reaching an all-time record for objections.
Three councils and ten non-governmental organisations stated these 6,000 objections did not include the 4,500 objections that were submitted to the group’s application for the City Centre project on what was previously an ITS school.
The permit for the whole project was disapproved by courts earlier on this year, even for the excavation of the ITS site.
Back in July, several organisations, councils and residents had expressed their disapproval of a new application which proposed a standalone excavation of the site, being a clear attempt to avoid a holistic evaluation of the development’s full impact on the area. This was mainly because this application was submitted in a separate manner to the one submitted two years ago in 2017 for the full project.
The application for the excavation was processed within a week, with there being no indication of what was to become of the waste produced during the excavation.
Apart from this, this excavation also went so far down that it extended below the Grade 2 Scheduled building as well as the Cold War bunker, with the db Group stating that these two buildings will be “retained” in some way or another.
The organisations objecting this development also stated that such excavation could also endanger the Ħarq Ħamiem cave along with its surroundings. This cave is extremely important when it comes to natural, geological and scientific significance in Malta.
In the joint statement, the NGO’s also said that “The sheer number of objections continues to show the widespread opposition to this project, which has attracted criticism from all quarters.”
In their statement, they concluded by saying that “Residents, local councils and organisations will continue with their efforts to stop the db’s monument to greed; a project which shows total disrespect towards residents and the environment, benefitting only those who will be raking in millions from land speculation.”
The original €300 million project, which was completely nullified by a court back in June, included a 37-storey tower, a 17-storey hotel, and also a shopping complex.