Updated | DB Group offers to ‘assist Jason Azzopardi discover the truth’ on City Centre project

The DB Group says Jason Azzopardi is telling ‘absolute lies in order to hide his previous ones’ as a spat between the developers and the Nationalist MP continues

The DB Group has again accused Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi of lying about its City Centre project
The DB Group has again accused Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi of lying about its City Centre project

The DB Group has once again accused Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi of lying in the latest in a tit-for-tat regarding proposed excavation works on the site of the former ITS site.

“Referring to our City Centre proposal for the former ITS site in St Julian’s, the Hon Jason Azzopardi (PN) continues to tell absolute lies in order to hide his previous ones,” the DB Group said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday, the DB Group denied Azzopardi’s claim that construction waste from the excavation of the site would be used for land reclamation, with the company insisting that considerable design changes had been made to the project in order to protect a number of cultural and historic sites.

In his latest post, uploaded on Tuesday, Azzopardi said that the group had “tremendously increased” the volume to be excavated.

“DB has increased tremendously the volume of excavation (ERA doc confirms this) since the first permit (now annulled by the Court) & this without yet knowing what the building envelope is going to be since the PA has not yet decided on the new application for the DB project. This can only mean that DB wants to increase the building envelope and mass of the Pembroke project,” Azzopardi wrote.  

“Do you know of anyone who risks wasting millions of euro in excavating more land than he could be permitted to build by the Planning Authority?”

READ MORE: DB Group accuses Nationalist MP of lying about ITS site excavation works

Responding to the PN MP, the DB Group insisted that Azzopardi’s claim of an increase in volume of the project was a lie.

“In fact, it has been substantially downscaled. Concretely, two floors (equivalent to 10m) were removed from the proposed tower, and another two floors (equivalent to 8m) removed from the proposed hotel,” the DB Group said.

Moreover, it said that the entire area adjacent to the military blocks was lowered by over six metres and that all areas overlooking Triq il-Professure Ganado as well as the open-air carpark overlooking the Pembroke housing estate were lowered by almost two metres.

“If Jason Azzopardi thinks that lowering development underground is the equivalent to building above it, his grasp of reality is even more tenuous than previously thought,” read the statement  

It also dismissed claims that the excavation could pose a threat to historic buildings which it said would be preserved intact and in their totality.

“This is yet another lie. There will be, and cannot be, any such threat. Elementary knowledge of architecture and engineering bears this out.

“As we have said all along, we have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. We therefore extend a cordial invitation to the Hon Jason Azzopardi to meet. We will gladly assist him to finally discover the truth.”

Nobody excavates 40,000 cubic metres for fun – Azzopardi

Despite the DB Group’s denial, Azzopardi was adamant that there was no reason for the project to require an additional 40,000 cubic metres of excavation if the volume was going to remain the same.

“The undeniable truth is: ERA officially report a demand for an additional 40,000 cubic metres excavation. Maybe DB would like to denounce ERA & decry its ‘lies’ too? ‘Cos you know, it’s not La La Land to excavate an amount equal to almost double the Ta’ Qali National stadium but not increase any volume. You know, there exist people who excavate 40,000 cu metres just for the fun of it.”  

READ MORE: Residents, local councils and NGOs condemn ‘splicing and dicing’ of ITS development applicatio

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