Residents, NGOs and three local councils have filed two lawsuits regarding the db Group City Center Project on the former ITS site.
The lawsuits were made possible through an overwhelming public response to a crowdfunding initiative last October, when over €26,000 were raised to cover legal expenses for actions against the project.
As part of the latest raft of legal actions, the appellants are appealing the recent decision of the Planning Tribunal.
While the tribunal ruled in the appellants’ favour on a number of important points, it also rejected a number of valid arguments that were crucial to the health and wellbeing of the community and the infrastructure's capacity to support intensive development of the sort.
The residents, NGOs and councils are appealing for a transparent and sustainable resolution regarding a number of legal points which are still unresolved.
They have also filed an action for judicial review in court. They stated that the PA’s decision to issue the permit for the db Group project was in breach of Maltese law since the process did not follow the principle of natural justice and relevant legal procedures.
The communities and NGOs involved said they were committed to continue fighting this unsustainable and over-intensive project for as long as necessary.
“Projects of this extreme dimension cannot be allowed to engulf whole communities putting an inordinate strain on the infrastructure, whilst being approved far before any rational and long-term measures are ensured. The attitude of ‘Build first and cope with the fall-out later’ must stop," they said.
The €300 million City Centre project, which includes a 37-storey tower and 17-storey hotel, was approved by the Planning Authority in September despite an unprecedented 4,500 objections from the public, local councils and NGOs.
An appeal against the decision was filed in November by 17 entities, including Pembroke, Swieqi and St Julian’s local councils and several environmental groups, following a crowdfunding drive.
The two actions in court were undertaken by the Pembroke, St Julian’s and Swieqi councils, Moviment Graffitti, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Din l-Art Ħelwa and Friends of the Earth Malta and nine residents.
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