An appeal has been filed with the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) against the db Group project on the ITS site in Pembroke.

The PA board decided in favour of the db Group’s controversial City Centre project, which features a 38-storey tower and 17-storey hotel, on September 20 by 10 votes to 4.

The 17 appellants include residents, NGOs and three local councils – Pembroke, St Julian’s and Swieqi.

A fundraising campaign was launched on October 7 which reached its €15,000 target within just four days. The final amount raised so far is €24,350, although donations are still being accepted in case the appeal fails, so that legal action can then be considered, the appellants said in a joint statement.

“The eager participation in this campaign is a result of the public’s outrage at a project that will benefit the very few at the expense of the people’s wellbeing and the environment,” Moviment Graffitti said on behalf of the appellants.

The €300 million City Centre project has been the source of significant controversy over the €60 million valuation of the land given to the developers on a 99-year concession. Calculations based on the government’s Paceville master plan put the actual value at €212 million.

More than 4,000 people had submitted objections to the PA - the largest number for any planning application ever considered - including over its visual impact, traffic, noise and dust during construction, overshadowing on nearby residences, and the extension of intensive commercial activity from Paceville.

The fundraising campaign for the ITS-DB Legal Action Fund is supported by eight NGOs: Friends of the Earth, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, BirdLife Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Ramblers Association, Nature Trust (Malta) and Żminijietna – Voice of the Left.

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