Activists and residents united against Marsaskala marina plans

In a press conference organised by Moviment Graffitti, Marsaskala residents called out Transport Malta for ignoring the needs of the residents and said that a marina would be the final nail in the coffin for the area

A proposed 700-yacht marina at Marsaskala came as a surprise to everyone and none were more shocked than residents of the locality who had not been consulted in any way before the plans surfaced.

Residents this morning joined a press conference organised by Moviment Graffitti to voice their concerns against the plans for the marina inside Marsaskala creek.

Andre Callus of Moviment Graffitti said everyone was shocked with Transport Malta's plans for the area.

Read more: Anger in Marsaskala over massive yacht marina plans

He insisted this was a national issue as it affected thousands of Maltese and Gotizans who love and enjoy the area.

John Baptist Camilleri, the minority leader within the Marsaskala council, said that it was imperative to pass a loud and clear message showing that Marsaskala was not for sale.

And although it was claimed that the plans were just an artistic impression, no one is buying that, he said.

Camilleri said wheras only small boats can currently access the creek, the plans called for the construction of a marina to cater for 700 larger yachts, that would only leave a very small recreation area for the public.

"The residents were never mentioned in the report," he said. "Wherever a yacht marina has been built, the access to the bay has been removed and however came up with the design, does not have the residents at heart."

Activist and Marsaskala resident Jeremy Camilleri said that these plans would ruin Marsaskala and would only cater to the interest of the few.

He rubbished the claims that the bay was dirty and useless and said that although there were some issues that needed tackling, the place is still a gem.

Camilleri criticised the fact that very few members of parliament came out against the project and that some MPs who are aginst the marina were in favour of a bridge across the creek.

A coordinator for the Marsaskala fireworks group, David Spagnol, said that after consulting with their insurance company, the group was told that with the yacht marina in place, they would not be insured to shoot fireworks out at sea.

He said that it was not true that Marsaskala required more commercial activity, as there was already a huge parking problem in the locality.

Spagnol said that the residents need to be respected and urged Prime Minister Robert Abela, himself a resident of Marsaskala, to ensure that no yacht marina, big or small, is built.

ADPD condemns lack of consultation and planning

At a separate event earlier, ADPD – The Green Party deputy secretary general Melissa Bagely said that after Marsaskala had been ruined, Transport Malta was now set on also destroying its coastline.

She said the plans for the proposed marina had been drawn up without any consultation with the residents and the local council, something which was required by law.

"Like its predecessors, the Labour Government avoids proper consultation, and is in favour of the destruction of our beaches and our coast," she said. "They destroyed the land and are now intent on destroying our sea.”

ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the development of a yacht marina in the area was highly damaging and would lead to a further loss of public space.

“Residents don't want this development and so Transport Malta has to stop and listen to what people have to say," he said. "Because if people don't want this development, then what is the purpose for proceeding?"

Cacopardo also called out the overdevelopment all over the island, and said that new local plans should prioritise people’s needs over the interest of capital.