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AD files submissions on proposed project at former ITS site

Cumulative impacts of known projects in the area should be considered

Alternattiva Demokratika has filed submissions on the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) on the proposed city centre multi-use development at the former Institute of Tourism Studies.

The proposal includes a 455-roomed five-star hotel, 158 residences, commercial office space, shopping mall and restaurants and basement car park.

The submissions were filed by party leader Carmel Cacopardo.

He noted that, in view of the fact that the local plan had never been subject to a strategic environment assessment, the coordinated assessment should have delved deeply into the cumulative impacts of the known projects in the area.

After perusing the documentation available, it could not be said that the cumulative impacts of the known projects in the area had been assessed, AD said.

It said there were at least five major projects around the perimeter of St George's Bay. Their impact should be considered cumulatively.

Limiting the assessment to the excavation waste generated by the project under consideration did not address the impacts generated being seriously addressed. These included the generation of around 336,000 cubic metres of waste of which 85% would be inert.  

Cumulative air quality impacts, particularly those resulting from traffic, were dealt with very scantily.

The Environment Resources Authority (ERA) rightly proposed that the traffic associated with the nearby Villa Rosa development be considered. This was not adequately done and should be extended to consider traffic impacts resulting from other major projects in the area.

But the ERA’s request to address the consideration of impacts generated by the Villa Rosa project should not be limited to traffic or to the Villa Rosa project.

It should be extended to all the other known projects in the area, identified in the Paceville draft masterplan, which had been sent back to the drawing board.

AD pointed out that the issue of rock trimming above and around Għar Għarq Ħammiem was not adequately dealt with.

There were conflicting statements in the coordinated assessment as to whether excavation should not be carried out or otherwise. The matter was dealt with unconvincingly and should be extensively revisted and revised.

The domino impacts of the project in accelerating further development in Pembroke  to provide residential provision for foreign labour force servicing the area was ignored.

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