Today, a little after 3:30pm, the Board of the Planning Authority voted 10 to 4 to approve a project launched by ‘db Group’ to construct a 38 storey tower and a 17 storey hotel at the site in St. George’s Bay, Saint Julian’s, which currently hosts the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS).
This project had and has generated a great deal of controversy, so much so that the hearing held today to listen to the favouring and opposing views of the project was held in a hall of the Hamrun Lyceum so as to cater for members of the public who came out in their droves, mainly opposing the project, with unprecedented objections being raised from environmental groups, local councils and residents themselves.
While we recognise the importance that the construction industry has within the framework of our economy, it is also important to give due consideration to the welfare of our environment and of addressing the current state of our infrastructure as it is, instead of just adding more onto it.
Both sides of the argument have a right to a say in this debate, but it would be irresponsible and selfish to ignore the national interest and put that of select individuals on a higher plating than those of the citizens of this nation.
We must strive to maintain the stability of our economy, but what good will it be to enjoy our economic triumphs if we don’t have a pleasant, beautiful and open country to live in, as opposing to being more clustered with more buildings and excessive development?
The construction on this building will take 4 years, generate around 336,000 tonnes of waste, and is said to severely disrupt residential life and travel around the area, both during construction and after opening.