The DB deceit: will the Planning Authority be an accomplice?

The cheek of the DB Group knows no boundaries. Of course, they feel that they can try and take everybody for a ride because they hold both the PL and the PN in their pockets

Despite having had their application declared as “null and void” by the Maltese courts, the DB Group, of Silvio Debono fame, are at it again, resubmitting the old application together with a new one asking for permission to excavate all over the place.

We residents, Local Councils and NGOs have clearly and immediately condemned this DB ruse to splice and dice the ITS application to evade holistic assessment of this huge project.

As our joint press release stated: “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”.

Moreover, “this application for large scale excavation has been processed, with no indication of what is to become of the excavation waste”.

The cheek of the DB Group knows no boundaries. Of course, they feel that they can try and take everybody for a ride because they hold both the PL and the PN in their pockets, having established a pre-electoral deal with the former and having paid the salaries of certain employees working for the latter. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

Indeed, the “excavation” plans as submitted by DB are contradictory. In the unlikely event of these plans being approved as submitted, it would mean that the developer will be permitted to excavate all the site, including the space underneath the barracks buildings. At the same time he will be obliged to retain the Schedule 2 barrack buildings in place.

This is, of course, impossible.

In fact, according to the newly submitted plans by the DB group, all the area within the site boundary will be excavated.

The plans indicate the ITS building to be retained, but at the same time the same plans show that the rock underneath this historic building will be excavated.

Who are the architects that came up with this brainwave? How can you retain a building in site while excavating underneath it?

The same can be said for the Cold War Outpost. This is not a scheduled building, but it definitely merits a grade 2 protection. In the media, the DB group stated that this Outpost will be retained, but in reality the new plans submitted show that the underlying rock will be excavated.

In fact, while the structure is indicated in the plans there is no indication that it will be protected.

Excavation of all the DB site will in reality mean that the outpost would have to be demolished. Is this another architectural brainwave?

Another crucial issue concerns the road. The excavation of the site will involve the removal of the road. What will happen then to traffic circulation? Access to the area, including the Corinthia and Radisson hotels and the beach, will become more difficult. All roads in the surrounding area will be subject to much higher volumes of traffic.

This will therefore mean more traffic congestion, more waiting time for residents to get in/out of Pembroke and more car emissions that will further deteriorate the quality of air in the area.

If these people are unable to submit sensible plans, are they able to think through the many important issues such as waste management, traffic circulation, impacts on the neighbourhood, quality of the air etc.? And can the Planning Authority Board support such ridiculous requests?

The answers to these questions come up naturally, and they are a definite “no”.