Cassola reports dB works to cultural heritage watchdog

dB group insists all works are in line with the planning permit, which allows for the removal of the third reservoir

A photo of the construction works with a visible cistern (Photo: Arnold Cassola)
A photo of the construction works with a visible cistern (Photo: Arnold Cassola)

Independent politician Arnold Cassola is calling on the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage to stop construction works by the dB Group at the former ITS building in Pembroke, over fears that the works are compromising a network of cisterns dug over a century ago.

Cassola reported the works to the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage, and presented four photos of the works near the cistern.

“These cisterns, which form an important part of our history and heritage, used to provide a year's supply of second class rain water, utilised also for irrigation purposes, for use by the Institute of Tourism Studies itself,” Cassola said.

“These cisterns had been restored by former staff of the ITS, after having obtained permission from the authorities. These civil servants had dedicated their free time for this labour of love towards our historical heritage.”

He posted photos and videos on social media of the works happening in the area, with the roof of one cistern already broken.

However, dB group said that some of the site’s cisterns are scheduled for demolition, while others are not.

“The dB Group is meticulously abiding by the permit approved by the Planning Authority in 2021 and has breached none of the conditions.”

The Group said Cassola’s claims of criminal acts are libellous, false and malicious – but Cassola hit out against the Group’s own counter-claims.

“The dB Group is lying,” he said. “They are not allowed to touch Cisterns 1 and 2 and they can only carefully dismantle a part of Cistern 3. Instead, they bulldozed cistern 3 and broke the roof of cistern 2.”

Planning Authority permit PA/3807/17 states that Reservoir 1 shall be retained and integrated within the approved project areas, while Reservoir 2 shall be retained in its entirety and integrated with the project basement levels.

Reservoir 3 could be dismantled as it had already been severely impacted during past redevelopments.

The dB Group insisted that Reservoir 3 is scheduled for demolition, while Reservoir 2 would found partially damaged. "In the approved method statement, there is a proviso saying that: “A thorough inspection of the structure will also be conducted and should some damages be unearthed, these will be repaired.” Any damages to the reservoir shall be repaired in line with the approved SCH method statement. Every action taken is covered with the clearance of the SCH."