The St Julian’s local council, four NGOs and more than 80 residents have filed an appeal against plans to develop a private jetty for a hop-on, hop-off tourist ferry at Balluta Bay.
The project was approved by the Planning Authority on March 2, to the dismay of objectors who argued that the project will effectively privatise a section of the public bay.
Eighty-seven of those objectors have now filed an appeal against the PA decision. Among them are NGOs Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Green House and Moviment Graffitti, which had also sought to be given permission to manage Balluta Bay, pledging to keep it free of any commercial venture.
The approved plans will allow Fortina Investments Ltd. to build a jetty which it will use for tourist ferries. The company owns Captain Morgan cruises and has also won a tender to operate a Malta-Comino ferry.
St Julian’s Bay water polo club, which backed the Balluta Bay project, says that ferries will eventually dock at its premises instead and that the jetty being built will be temporary.
Objectors, however, say that the plans will effectively put an end to Balluta as a safe swimming zone and argue that the jetty can be relocated to a safe area.
“Why does the public always have to give up its open space? We will fight on so that the public can still have its bay to enjoy,” they said in a statement announcing that they had filed their appeal.
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