AD condemns privatisation of Bugibba beach

Real estate agency offers former McDonald’s property in Bugibba for letting, ‘including private beach’

Alternattiva Demokratika protested the privatisation of public beach below former McDonald's in Bugibba
Alternattiva Demokratika protested the privatisation of public beach below former McDonald's in Bugibba

Following rumours of plans to privatise the public beach below the former McDonald’s site in Bugibba, the same site had been advertised as property to let, including a ‘private beach’, on a local real estate agency’s website, the chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika said on Sunday.

Arnold Cassola, who was addressing a press conference in Bugibba, said that swimming and other coastal-related activities were an essential part of the Maltese way of life.

But swathes of the country’s coastline have been taken up by private entities to serve as private beaches, denying Maltese families and others to spend some quality time swimming and doing other activities on the coast.

“Having parts of our coast taken up by private entities is both socially and environmentally unacceptable,” Cassola said.

“Despite the public’s right to access the foreshore as enacted in the public domain legislation approved by Parliament last year, it seems that nothing is really guaranteed.”

Simon Galea, AD’s spokesperson, said that he had personally written to the St Paul’s Bay local council and to Deborah Schembri, parliamentary secretary for planning, on 7 January after being informed of the advertisement.

“Up to this day, no acknowledgment was received from the local council,” he said. “It is unacceptable that the mayor of St Paul's Bay does not even bother to answer on such sensitive issue.”

Galea said that Schembri had replied the day after he sent the email, promising to look into the matter. Since then, however, he had not received any further updates from the parliamentary secretary.

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