Residents and NGOs file judicial protest against Lands Authority over DB Group development

Several citizens and NGOs have filed a judicial protest calling on the authority to enforce the terms of the concession agreement signed between the government and the DB Group

Residents and NGOs have filed a judicial protest against the Lands Authority calling on it to enforce agreement between the DB Group and the government
Residents and NGOs have filed a judicial protest against the Lands Authority calling on it to enforce agreement between the DB Group and the government

A group of Pembroke residents and NGOs have filed a judicial protest against the Lands Authority, calling on it to enforce the conditions of the agreement signed between the government and the DB Group for the use of the former ITS site in Pembroke.

The contract was signed in February 2017 and will see the DB Group develop a 6-star hotel and residential complex on the site.

The project has been fiercely opposed by residents and the public in general and was approved last September despite the Planning Authority receiving over 4,500 objections to the project. Residents and NGOs have since filed court proceedings opposing the development.

In a statement on Friday, the NGOs stressed that the contract required the developer to “restore” the St George’s Barracks which is a Grade 2 Scheduled building.

READ MORE: NGOs call for stop to DB Group works over 'undeclared' Cold War bunker

“Despite this clear contractual obligation, the scheduled building is being demolished with only a wall and a coat or arms being retained. This is in clear breach of the contract and constitutes a loss of national architectural heritage,” the NGOs said.

They added that the contract stipulated that any discoveries of “antiquarian or archaeological importance must be notified to the competent authorities, and that the government shall have certain rights over such discoveries”.

A week ago, the NGOs called on the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage to issue an Emergency Conservation Order on what they said was a previously undeclared Cold War Facility underneath St George’s Barracks.

“Archival research carried out by experts has shown that plans of an underground Cold War bunker exists on site. However, there is no record of this being notified to the authorities as stipulated by contract and this research had to be undertaken by NGOs and brought to the attention of the public by NGOs” they said in their latest statement.

“The protestants called upon the Lands Authority to enforce the contract and to preserve the country’s heritage.”

READ MORE: Works on former ITS site in breach of permit conditions, Graffitti insists

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