Private Jetty at Balluta? – NGOs and local council say NO

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

11 NGOs and the St. Julian’s Local Council are calling on the general public to attend the Planning Authority sitting on the 3rd of February to show their concerns on the application for a private jetty in Balluta Bay. The sitting will be held at 9.30 am. 

The project involves the building of a private jetty that will serve as a hop-on-hop-off tourist service run by the Fortina Hotel owners. 

The protesting parties are outraged at the fact that those who have already taken “every inch of land in the area” now want to privatise the sea and coast. 

The residents in the locality have already expressed their opposition to the project in public activity in November 2019. 

The St. Julian’s Local Council has also objected with the Lands Authority to any concessions by the Lands Authority of the seabed and of the sea.

In the letter to the authority, the local council quoted the Civil Code, which states that the sea and foreshore are for public use. 

The private jetty would dominate and pollute the bay as well as pose a constant danger to bathers and swimmers. Balluta Bay would thus suffer the same fate as the Ferries in Sliema, where the same company took over the most substantial part of the shore for its private ferries.

This project also raises serious concerns about its environmental impact on the seabed and water quality. While this hop-on hop-off service will eventually include a route along the coast and different berthing spots, the application that will be discussed on Monday concerns only one berthing spot at Balluta Bay. Thus, it is impossible to assess the project’s impact on the area holistically. 

The construction of a private jetty in Balluta Bay goes contrary to the Local Plan for the area which does not identify that site for berthing facilities. 

The NGOs and St. Julian’s Local Council find it bizarre that the case officer is recommending the application for approval on the basis that it encourages “…transport by ferry boat as an alternative mode of transport…” 

The ferry, will not an alternative means of transport since it is simply a private ferry that provides an additional service to tourists, from which only Fortina will profit.

NGOs signatories to the protest: Archaeological Society of Malta, Attard Residents Environment Network (AREN), Bicycle Advocacy Group, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Isles of the Left, Moviment Graffitti, Nature Trust Malta and Ramblers’ Malta