PA approves DB Group’s Pembroke City Centre project

The Board of the Planning Authority has approved the DB Group’s City Centre project in Pembroke. The Board approved the project with four votes in favour and three against. Chairman Martin Camilleri, Sean Mangion, Duncan Mifsud and Saviour Debono Grech voted in favour, and Omar Vella, Gilmour Camilleri and Local Councils representative Omar Arab voted against.

At the start of the meeting which lasted for over four and a half hours, Board Chairman Martin Camilleri read out a note presented by four board members, Vince Cassar, Victor Axiak, Joseph Brincat and Annick Bonello. who declared they would be recusing themselves from making a decision. Chris Cilia also recused himself with them because of a conflict of professional interest.

As a result, it was seven members of the Planning Authority board who voted on the new application presented by the DB Group for a permit for the Pembroke City Centre project. The Group had re-applied after the permit had been revoked by the Court in June 2019 because of a conflict of interest by one of the members of the board of the Planning Authority.

The DB Group presented new plans with alterations which showed a 30% reduction in the project, which according to the developers meant a reduction of over 5,000 trucks of excavated material and a 30% reduction in parking. The two plans incorporated, among others, two residential towers whose height was reduced by 77 metres, with the hotel being reduced by 27 metres. The new application included the removal of the casino complex and an increase in open spaces, whilst the barracks, Cold War substation, water reservoirs and coat of arms were integrated into the new plans.