Controversial plans for a new yacht marina in Marsaskala creek are far from finalised and at a very “early” stage, Transport Malta has said in a statement.
The statement comes as Marsaskala residents are up in arms over the plans, which would see most of the inner bay turned into pontoons for yachts of all sizes. Residents argue this will leave no room for public swimming and decrease residents’ quality of life.
However, TM said they were merely continuing a process that was approved back in 2006 to develop a marina in Marsaskala – a process that some are calling to be reversed.
“The impression that is being given by some that there are already some ready-made plans or that everything is finalised is totally incorrect,” TM said today. “What has been published is nothing more than a call for anyone that is interested in developing the marina.”
“Once there is a shortlist of those interested, a number of processes and other studies would be needed, which would naturally including a wide-ranging consultation with the local community, to then decide who will be chosen to undergo all the needed processes,” they continued.
A petition set up by residents in protest of the plans calls for a public consultation with residents in the area as well as a referendum on the future of the bay. It has reached nearly 1,500 signatures at time of publishing.
Further to that, the Marsaskala local council announced it would be holding an urgent meeting, which will be streamed live online, tomorrow at 6pm to discuss the plans.
In a statement today, the Nationalist party said it was against the currently proposed plans, calling the project “rushed and disproportionate”.
“We urge residents and NGOs to continue making their voices heard as through their actions we’ve created resistance against the government’s cheap plans,” PN said.
The Nationalist Party also expressed support for PN Minority Leader John Baptist Camileri, who made the call for the government to reassess and reverse the plans as they are.
Activist group Moviment Graffitti have also called out the plans, saying they would cause the bay to “suffocate”.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, one Marsaskala resident explained locals’ fears over the potential marina.
“We are up in arms against the degradation of our bay with a proposed yacht marina for which a tender has been issued which will destroy protected Posidonia meadows, further deteriorate the protected Natura 2000 site at il-Magħluq (home of the endangered killifish), effectively destroy swimming areas from the rocks, create more traffic and cause parking problems and ruin the characteristics of the natural inlet,” they said.
“We’ve started the online petition and are requesting that we be consulted before any further steps are taken,” they said directly to authorities.
What do you make of the proposed marina plans?