Issuing a tender for a massive yacht marina in Marsascala before carrying out any impact assessments is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse, the Nationalist Party said on Saturday.

Chief PN spokesperson Peter Agius was reacting to plans made by Transport Malta calling for proposals to develop a yacht marina in the southern seaside town, with plans showing berthing spots for vessels taking up much of the bay, including popular swimming areas.

Agius said that while the PN supported efforts to invest in infrastructure, particularly in the south of Malta, residents had a right to know how the project could impact the environment as well as their quality of life.

“The fact that this project is already at a tendering stage and residents have yet to be consulted is not the right way to work. The community’s interest should not come second,” Agius said.

PN spokesperson Peter Agius (centre) speaks during Saturday's press conference.PN spokesperson Peter Agius (centre) speaks during Saturday's press conference.

He also expressed concern about how dredging works would affect il Magħluq ta’ Marsaskala, a brackish water habitat that houses protected flora and fauna species, including efforts to preserve a colony of Mediterranean killifish.

Marsascala minority leader John Baptist Camilleri said that the council had been surprised by the presentation of plans for a full-scale marina, as they were previously under the impression that plans were in the works to construct a breakwater in the area.

“This was shocking to us and we were never consulted,” Camilleri said.

“A project of this scale will significantly change the character of our village and while we have always had a boating tradition related to fishing, this far exceeds those type of activities.”

Camilleri said the council is going to convene an emergency meeting on Monday and hopes to have an official position on the matter by Tuesday.

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