Moviment Graffitti file an application over Balluta Bay in a bid to protect it

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Moviment Graffitti has filed an application before the Lands Authority to manage Balluta Bay in a bid to ward off the commercialization of the bay. In a statement on Saturday the non-governmental organisation said that it seeks to keep it permanently accessible and safe to bathers and the community.

The group intends to retain Balluta Bay as a space for “public recreational activities including citizen science, social and community activities and ecological monitoring activities”.

The bay is currently threatened with a pending planning application for a private ferry pontoon to be installed in the middle of the bay, Moviment Graffitti highlighted, as it referred to Fortina Group’s application which was recently rejected and which is subject to a decision on 2 March.

Speaking about its application before the Lands Authority, the group said that it was ‘necessary because one could not allow the further take-up of public bays from private interests’.

“This eating up of our public spaces is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. Ferry transport should not be allowed in bathing areas in close proximity of swimmers, and the public should not be relegated to bathing in little swimming pens,” Moviment Graffitti said.

The NGO accused Fortina Group of “virtually colonizing” the Sliema Strand zone and said that the group was awarded a monopoly over the Comino ferry transport system, referring to a recent controversial concession which was awarded for a number of years.

The group said that it will wait for the Planning Authority’s decision on the matter.