Kontra t-Torri u l-Lukanda flok l-ITS

30412298_10155537369432874_4279086273502399450_n-1
Ir-residenti ta’ Pembroke, l-għaqdiet ambjentali u tal-wirt kulturali, is-sindki u l-kunsilliera, u l-mezzi ewlenin tax-xandir f’pajjiżna waqt il-Konferenza Stampa tas-Sibt 7 ta’ April 2018 li għamilna biex nispjegaw għaliex aħna kontra t-torri ta’ 37 sular u l-lukanda ta’ 19-il sular li jrid jibni db Group flok l-ITS f’Pembroke. Ritratt meħud minn Rita Zammit.

 

Tidfnuniex Ħajjin | L-istqarrija tar-Residenti u l-Għaqdiet mhux governattivi

KONFERENZA STAMPA, Pembroke | Is-Sibt 7 ta’ April 2018

Illum inġbarna flimkien bħala residenti, kunsilli lokali u għaqdiet mhux governattivi, biex nispjegaw għaliex qed jinkwetana l-proġett propost mid-db Group fuq is-sit tal-Istitut tal-Istudji Turistiċi. Wara li rajna bir-reqqa d-deskrizzjoni tal-proġett u l-Istudju fuq l-Impatt Ambjentali li tħejja bħala parti mill-proċess tal-applikazzjoni għal dan l-iżvilupp, u wara li kkonsultajna mar-residenti f’laqgħa pubblika li għaliha kien hemm attendenza tajba ħafna, wasalna għall-konklużjoni li jekk isir, dan il-proġett enormi se jkollu effetti tal-biża’ fuq ir-residenti u fuq l-ambjent li jgħixu fih.

Dan il-bini se jidfinna ħajjin taħt id-dellijiet twal u wesgħin li se jitfgħu t-torri ġgantesk u l-lukanda maġenbu. Se jidfinna taħt il-kummerċjalizzazzjoni bla rażan, it-traffiku bla waqfien, u t-trab perikoluż li se jiġġenera. Aħna qed nitolbu li s-sit tal-ITS, li sa ftit xhur ilu kien art pubblika li kienet qed tintuża għall-ġid komuni, ma jinbidilx f’mostru li jgħarrqilna l-kwalità tal-ħajja tagħna għal dejjem.

L-elementi ewlenin tal-proġett li qed jinkwetawna huma dawn:

  • Il-kobor esaġerat tal-bini, b’torri residenzjali ta’ 37 sular u resort hotel ta’ 19-il sular b’455 kamra, se jġib attività ma taqta’ xejn u mhux ippjanata, kemm waqt li jkun għaddej il-bini kif ukoll meta jitlesta. L-infrastruttura li hemm fl-inħawi mhix biżżejjed biex tħallaq ma’ din l-attività kollha, u dan jista’ jwassal għal diżastru infrastrutturali. Diġà ġew approvati proġetti ta’ bini kbir ħafna f’dawn l-inħawi, u hemm proposti biex isiru oħrajn. L-Istudju fuq l-Impatt Ambjentali ta’ dan il-proġett ma jqisx l-effett kumplessiv li se jkollhom proġetti differenti ta’ żvilupp fl-istess inħawi.
  • Skont l-Istudju fuq l-Impatt Ambjentali kkummissjonat mill-iżviluppatur, il-proġett se jiġġenera madwar 7,500 vjaġġ bil-karozzi kuljum. Dawn l-inħawi diġà mhumiex qed ilaħħqu mat-traffiku kollu li hawn, u għaldaqstant ma nistgħux nifhmu kif minn dawn it-toroq se jgħaddu ħafna u ħafna aktar karozzi milli qed jgħaddu, jew jippruvaw jgħaddu, illum. Li se jiġri hu li t-traffiku se jeħel iżjed milli diġà qed jeħel.
  • L-iżviluppatur qed jikkalkula li l-kostruzzjoni ta’ dan il-proġett mostru se ddum madwar tliet snin. Kemm idum għaddej il-bini, ir-residenti se jkollhom iħabbtu wiċċhom ma’ mill-inqas 50 vjaġġ kuljum ta’ trakkijiet kbar ħafna li jġorru l-materjal tal-bini. Barra minn hekk, fil-fażi tat-twaqqigħ tal-bini li hemm bħalissa u t-tħaffir tal-blat għall-bini l-ġdid, dan il-proġett se jiġġenera 336,085 tunnellata ta’ skart, jiġifieri kważi kwart tal-iskart kollu tal-kostruzzjoni (22%) li ġġenerat Malta kollha fl-2015.
  • L-iżviluppatur qed jipproponi li jqiegħed impjant li jagħmel il-konkos fuq il-post, ftit metri ‘l bogħod mid-djar tan-nies. Din il-“batching plant” se tagħmel ħsara kbira fl-ambjent, fost l-oħrajn minħabba t-trab fin ħafna li kapaċi jixtered fl-arja.
  • Effett ħażin ieħor se jkun dak tad-dell li dan il-bini mostruż se jitfa’ fuq il-binjiet fejn jgħixu mijiet ta’ nies, għax se jnaqqas sew l-ammont ta’ xemx diretta matul is-sena kollha. F’Diċembru, id-dell tat-torri propost jasal saħansitra sal-impjant tar-Reverse Osmosis. Barra minn hekk, minħabba l-firxa tagħha, il-lukanda se titfa’ d-dell tqil tagħha, tista’ tgħid b’mod permanenti, fuq il-blokki ta’ appartamenti residenzjali li jinsabu taħtha.
  • L-Istudju fuq l-Impatt Ambjentali jgħid ukoll li jista’ jkun hemm effett negattiv fuq Għar Ħarq Ħammiem, li parti minnu tinsab taħt il-kumpless propost. Dan l-Għar huwa skedat bħala post ta’ Importanza Ekoloġika u sit ta’ Importanza Xjentifika.
  • L-iżvilupp propost se jkollu impatt negattiv fuq iż-Żona fil-Baħar fil-Grigal ta’ Malta li hija meqjusa bħala Baħar imħares min-Natura 2000. Dan se jseħħ minħabba t-trab perikoluż li se jixtered fuq il-baħar ta’ max-xatt u minħabba t-tniġġis tad-dawl fil-postijiet fejn ibejtu ħlejjaq differenti.
  • Il-proġett se jbiddel għalkollox il-karattru ta’ Pembroke għax se jkompli jxejjen il-konfini bejn Pembroke u Paceville u jżid il-kummerċjalizzazzjoni ta’ San Ġiljan. Se joħloq ukoll katina ta’ effetti negattivi, u jkabbar l-għatx tal-iżviluppaturi biex jipprovdu binijiet għall-ħaddiema li se jkun hemm bżonn għal dan il-proġett u għall-bidliet fit-tip ta’ attività li se jkun hemm f’dawn l-inħawi.

Aħna ma nistgħux nifhmu kif qed issir din il-proposta ta’ proġett sproporzjonat meta lanqas hemm Pjan Komprensiv għal dawn l-inħawi. Il-Masterplan propost ġie rtirat ftit ġimgħat wara li ġie ppreżentat għax ħafna qisuh bħala pjan maħsub biex jaġevola biss lil grupp żgħir ta’ żviluppaturi. Kif tista’ tipproponi proġetti enormi mingħajr pjan ġenerali li jqis il-fatturi kollha. Mingħajr Masterplan serju ma tistax tkejjel l-impatt reali ta’ proġetti bħal dan u, mill-perspettiva tal-ippjanar, ma tistax tqis jekk jagħmlux sens.

Ftit xhur ilu, ir-residenti ta’ Pembroke ħadu pożizzjoni qawwija kontra l-proposta li tinbena skola privata fuq medda art pubblika kbira li tinsab fuq ix-xagħri. F’dik il-kampanja, li fiha huma involuti r-residenti, il-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Pembroke, u għadd ta’ għaqdiet mhu governattivi, saru iktar minn 1500 oġġezzjoni individwali lill-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar. Il-proċess amministrattiv għadu għaddej u nittamaw li l-awtoritajiet ma japprovawx dik il-proposta u minflok jibdew il-proċess biex din l-art tingħaqad mal-bqija tax-xagħri meqjusa bħala sit tan-Natura 2000.

Il-proġett propost fuq is-sit tal-Istitut għall-Istudji Turistiċi huwa parti mill-assedju li qed ikollhom iħabbtu wiċċhom miegħu Pembroke u lokalitajiet oħrajn, assedju minn forzi li l-interessi tagħhom huma biss dawk tal-profitt bla rażan. Dawn il-forzi qed juru li m’għandhom ebda rispett lejn il-ġid komuni u d-drittijiet fundamentali tar-residenti, tan-nies li jaħdmu f’dawn l-inħawi, u ta’ dawk kollha li jżuru dawn l-inħawi regolarment biex jużaw il-faċilitajiet u l-ispazji miftuħa li joffru.

Aħna kontra l-privatizzazzjoni tal-art pubblika u favur il-ħarsien tal-ġid komuni. “Tidfnuniex Ħajjin”, kampanja mmexxija minn għadd ta’ residenti u għaqdiet, hija inizjattiva mhux partiġġjana li tagħti prijorità lid-drittijiet tar-residenti u l-ħarsien tal-ambjent minflok lill-qligħ ta’ ftit individwi.

Il-mistoqsija li għandna quddiemna hija waħda: L-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar se tipproteġi l-kwalità bażika tal-ħajja tagħna jew se tpaxxi lill-ftit li għandhom geddumhom fix-xgħir?

30127530_10155537368897874_5120576634211970758_n30227011_10155537368492874_8737316365491204312_n30264723_10155537368742874_5065228676833817768_n


Do Not Bury Us Alive

Today, residents, local councils and NGOs have come together to express their concerns at the project proposed by the db Group on the ITS site. After having carefully read the developer’s description and the Environment Impact Assessment prepared as part of the full development application process, and after having consulted with residents in a very well-attended public meeting, it is clear to us that its effects on residents and the environment would be devastating.

If this project is approved, it will effectively bury us alive under the long shadows cast by a gigantic tower and resort hotel, unlimited commercialisation, endless traffic, and hazardous dust. We are demanding that the ITS site, which up to a few months ago was public land used for the public good, is not transformed into a monstrosity that will wreck our quality of life.

The main points of concern are:

  • The massive scale of the project – a 37-storey residential tower and a 19-storey resort hotel of 455 rooms – will bring intense unplanned activity to the area, both during the construction phases, as well as the operational ones. The existing infrastructure is clearly not adequate to sustain this kind of activity, something that can lead to an infrastructural collapse. Other mega projects have already been approved in the same area, and more are being proposed. The Environment Impact Assessment of this project does not take into account the cumulative effect resulting from different developments in the same area.
  • According to the Environment Impact Assessment commissioned by the developer, the project will generate about 7,500 car trips daily. It is unthinkable that localities already facing a significant traffic problem will somehow manage to sustain this exponential increase in car trips. This will simply lead to a gridlock.
  • A construction period of at least three years is estimated by the developer, during which residents will have to endure something like 50 trips by Heavy Goods Vehicles per working day. 336,085 tonnes of waste will be generated during the demolition and excavation phases of the proposed development. This is equivalent to 22% of all construction waste generated in 2015.
  • The developers are proposing to install a batching plant on site, metres away from people’s homes. This concrete-making facility in Pembroke will inevitably have environmental consequences, including the spread of insidious dust particles.
  • The project’s shadowing effect will leave a huge impact on the residential area of Pembroke, drastically reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the area throughout the year. In December, the shadow cast by the tower will reach the Reverse Osmosis plant. Another devastating, permanent effect on people’s homes will be created by the shadow of the wide expanse of the resort hotel.
  • The Environment Impact Assessment identifies a likely adverse impact on Għar Ħarq Ħammiem, part of which lies under the proposed complex. This is designated as an area of Ecological Importance and a site of Scientific Importance.
  • The proposed development will likely have a negative impact on the Marine Natura 2000 Site Żona fil-Baħar fil-Grigal ta’ Malta due to the entry of hazardous particles in the coastal water body, and as a result of the light pollution negatively affecting important breeding grounds on this site.
  • The project would significantly change the character of Pembroke by further diluting the boundaries between Pembroke and Paceville, and intensifying commercialisation in St Julian’s. It would also create a domino effect, with an acceleration of further development to cater for the labour force required for the project and the changing nature of activities in the area.

We also fail to understand how this project is being proposed despite the fact that there is no Masterplan in place. A Masterplan was scrapped just weeks after it had been unveiled following a public outcry at the fact that it was designed according to the interests of a handful of developers. It is unconceivable that such massive projects are being proposed in the absence of a Masterplan, since it is currently impossible to understand their real impact and whether they make any sense at all from a planning perspective.

Only a few months ago, Pembroke residents took a clear stand against the proposal for a private school on a large stretch of public, natural land. During this campaign that saw the involvement of residents, the Pembroke Local Council and several NGOs, over 1500 individual objections were submitted to the Planning Authority. The administrative process is still ongoing and we hope that the relevant authorities reject this proposal and start the process to include the area as part of the Natura 2000 site.

The proposed project on the ITS site is thus an additional element in the siege on Pembroke and other localities from forces whose only interest is their private profit. These forces are showing a total disregard for the common good and the basic rights of residents, people working  in the area, and those visiting it regularly in order to use the facilities and public open spaces it offers.

We are against the privatisation of public land and in favour of safeguarding the common good. ‘Tidfnuniex Ħajjin’ is a campaign led by residents and NGOs, a completely non-partisan initiative in favour of prioritising residents’ rights and environmental protection over the private profits of the few.

The question in this case is clear and straightforward: Will the Planning Authority choose to protect our basic quality of life or will it accommodate the interests of the wealthy few?


30127986_10155537368137874_1073186235190272461_nF’uħud mill-mezzi tax-xandir

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-04-07/local-news/We-are-being-buried-alive-Residents-NGOs-and-Local-Councillors-gather-against-db-ITS-project-6736187624

‘Tidfnuniex ħajjin’ – Residenti ta’ Pembroke kontra proġett ta’ bini ta’ 37 sular

“Tidfnuniex ħajjin” – Jipprotestaw għall-iżvilupp fuq l-art tal-ITS

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/85884/pembroke_residents_call_for_its_project_to_be_scrapped#.WskHpsh8IRw

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180407/local/do-not-bury-us-alive-pembroke-residents-appeal-ahead-of-mega-project.675649

http://www.newsbook.com.mt/artikli/2018/4/7/progett-its:-residenti-u-kunsilli-lokali-bl-ghajta-se-tidfnuna-hajjin.73533/


 

Pembroke Protest

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar attended the recent Pembroke protest against over-development, sharing residents’ concerns about the inevitable increase in air pollution to be caused by thousands more car trips through the area every day. Scientific studies published by the World Health Organisation show that vehicle emissions contribute to lung conditions, heart problems, strokes, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

In any other country it would be unthinkable to carry out major excavations so close to the enormous protected cave which lies near the Pembroke ITS site to be re-developed. This is Malta’s largest underground water-submerged cave which has not been fully explored yet and several invertebrate species discovered there are currently under study and are possibly new to science.

See this article for more information: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180407/local/do-not-bury-us-alive-pembroke-residents-appeal-ahead-of-mega-project.675649

 


 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s