The Planning Authority has accused developers behind a controversial mega-project in Pembroke of causing it “great reputation damage” by advertising apartments for sale before the development had been given the green light.  

In a judicial protest filed by the PA on Friday, the authority said that it did not know that apartments in the db Group's planned City Centre project were being advertised for sale. 

The advertising caused it "great reputational damage," the authority is arguing.

A court in June found that former PA board member Matthew Pace had an interest in the City Centre project coming to fruition and that he should have played no part in a decision concerning it.

Mr Pace, who was one of 10 PA board members who voted in favour of the project, is also a franchise owner of Remax Alliance Swieqi, which shares a database and website with Remax Malta.

The agency had been selling apartments that were part of the City Centre project when no planning permit had yet been granted, The Shift News had reported.  

Following the court decision which nullified the db Group permit, Mr Pace had eventually resigned from the PA board.

Judicial protest

The authority’s legal move follows similar action by db Group last month.  

In a separate judicial protest, db San Gorg Property Limited claimed that the authority was to be held “directly and solely responsible” for the “serious” prejudice suffered.

The developers are claiming that the PA is “directly and solely” to blame for “failing to safeguard fundamental principles of fair hearing,” thereby giving rise to “particular circumstances” which had led the court to declare the process to have been vitiated.

The developers had been “totally unaware” of those circumstances which had given rise to the lack of a fair, impartial and independent hearing before the Planning Authority Board, resulting in the revocation of the permit by the court.

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