A controversial gate was erected to block a path to Fomm Ir-Rih bay for “safety” reasons on land “that has been private for decades”, the Planning Ministry has told Lovin Malta.
“We are informed that the gate was placed by the owner due to the dangers and responsibilities of the site,” a ministry spokesperson said.
The gate, the spokesperson said, has since been removed pending a formal Planning Authority application by the owner.
“The government is working to enter an arrangement with the owner to eventually give the public adequate access to the foreshore while respecting the right to private property,” they said.
Activists were up in arms over the gate’s erection, with many raising concerns over the public’s access to the area.
“I went for my usual walk to check on the beach at Fomm ir-Rih, Mgarr/Rabat and I was unable to assess the only road to the beach due to this gate. Why is it closed? Why are we unable to walk down to the beach? All walkers and trekkers who enjoy walking in the countryside are unable to now,” Raniero Borg wrote on social media.
Fomm ir-Riħ has been somewhat dangerous to visitors following a clay slop collapse in August 2020, which effectively covered a significant part of the bay. The area beneath the slopes has long been part of a private estate that includes a villa.
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