DB Group has said that the extra 40,000 cubic metres of excavation that forms part of their latest ITS plans are being done to preserve the site’s “cultural and historical heritage”.
This came after MP Jason Azzopardi claimed that an area the size of two football grounds with two floors beneath them would be used for land reclamation.
“The truth of the matter is as follows. Considerable design changes were carried out for various reasons. We wanted to stay true to our commitment to retain the whole scheduled military barracks (former ITS) in place.”
“We had no obligation to do so because we had clearance from the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage to redevelop the existing Grade 2 military blocks and retaining and amalgamating the south portico façade.”
“Yet we have gone a step further and proposed to retain the military blocks in their totality, including the cold war substation and its underlying rock base as well as other underground structures and reservoirs.”
“As a result of these initiatives, which we took in the interest of protecting our cultural and historical heritage, the main podium level where the former ITS portico stood has been lowered by over 6m in order to retain the military blocks as they were and thereby also respecting their exiting finished floor levels.”
“Contrary to what [Azzopardi] suggests, it is being done to serve the preservation of our cultural and historical heritage and not to harm it,” the group said in a statement.
Since DB’s reply, Azzopardi has said that DB has now confirmed that extra excavation plans in their statement.
“Can DB categorically deny that the building envelope is no larger than the permit approved and then rendered null by the court in PA03807/17?”
DB’s new application was submitted after a conflict of interest on the PA Board delayed their plans.