Captain Morgan has “categorically denied” claims it may be taking up a bigger part of the seashore in Balluta Bay than originally planned.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the company also said that “at no point” did it plan to prevent the public from using the foreshore, or any parts of it. This, it said, is clearly safeguarded by Transport Malta as one of the conditions of the permit.
The ferry company was reacting to accusations by several NGOs that it was trying to “occupy nearly the whole seashore” on the left of Balluta Bay, having already secured permission by the Planning Authority to operate a tourist catamaran from the area.
The groups said the application was disguised as a “minor amendments procedure” to the approved application.
But the company said that the minor amendment update submitted by the project architects would “actually lessen the impact on the nearshore seabed” without hindering public access to the existing quayside.
“Anybody bothering to go through the plans will see that the minor amendment shows the structural dimensioning of the actual pontoon to be installed and the details of the fixity on the quay due to the nature permit renewal,” Captain Morgan said.
Fixity is a dowel grouted in the quay and when works are complete this will not change the visual and physical characteristics of the existing quay, it said.
The architects insisted that only did the amendment not veer from the approved permit, it decreased the pontoon’s footprint on the seabed leading to more slender structural members. Structural details of the anchorage provided at the quay have also been provided, they said.
They also rebutted claims that the railing was being inferred to exclude the public.
“The approved plans show that a railing was to be installed and made it amply clear that the railing will be compliant with the permit since its sole purpose is for accessibility for all, which is a requirement,” the architects said.