Opposition by residents to the proposed yacht marina in Marsaskala is “not of concern” at this stage, Transport Malta (TM) has told potential investors wondering whether the project would ultimately get the go-ahead.
The message was communicated to potential investors during a clarification meeting held last month, in which interested bidders raised concerns about opposition to the project.
According to MaltaToday, the transport regulator sought to allay fears by insisting that the fact that no plans for the project had as yet been submitted meant that “at this point, [the concerns were] not of concern”.
“Had it been a design that is being imposed on the proponents, then it would have been of concern,” TM was reported to have said.
Last month, TM issued a request for proposals for a roughly 800-berth marina which has elicited outrage from residents. In addition to being used for swimming by residents, the bay is also the heart of the locality and is regularly frequented by residents of Marsaskala and surrounding areas.
Rather than draw up plans following public consultation and an environment impact assessment, and then having interested parties bid to implement the project as normally happens, this time round Transport Malta has opted to first choose a bidder and then carry out the remainder of the process once the eventual concessionaire is selected.
According to MaltaToday, TM said that the opinion of NGOs and residents was only speculative, stressing that the marina would be planned in a manner that addressed most concerns.
Responding to concerns by the bidders as to whether the project would be feasible in light of environmental concerns, with TM responding that the bidders needed to find a way of making the project viable.
Moviment Graffitti accuses Transport Minister of lying
Reacting to the story, Movement Graffitti said that Borg was lying when, “through Transport Malta”, he said there was no definitive plan for the marina.
“Borg issued a pre-qualification questionnaire right before Santa Marija and a few days later the first meeting with investors was held,” Moviment Graffitti said.
It said that the fact that investors were already responding to this call, “which includes detailed plans and specifications including the increase in berths and construction of jetties”.
The civil society group said this indicated that the plans had already been drawn up, adding that the statement contrasted with that made by Prime Minister Robert Abela, who has said the public would be guaranteed access to swimming zones.
“The Prime Minister either doesn’t know what Borg’s document contains, or he is lying in an attempt to calm down residents of the locality he himself lives in,” it added.
Moviment Graffitti will be holding a swimming protest against the proposed marina in Marsaskala Bay this Saturday at 4pm.
Do you agree that a marina should be built in Marsaskala?