Coast Road beach resort: Frankie Grima signs agreement with Ghallis windsurfers

Developers of Coast Road beach resort have agreed to grant windsurfers’ association 30 parking spaces and access to foreshore

The stretch of the old Coast Road earmarked for a massive car park and private beach
The stretch of the old Coast Road earmarked for a massive car park and private beach

The proponents of a beach concession on the stretch of the former Coast Road left abandoned in the wake of the road’s rebuilding, have signed an agreement with a sports association to grant them access to the coastline.

For the first time ever, Paceville entrepreneur Frankie Grima’s name appears on the agreement as a developer alongside that of business partner Joseph Zammit, the applicant behind the project.

Grima himself had stated back in 2016 in an interview with the Malta Business Review that he had plans for a coastline project and a 7,000 sq.m. “Vietnamese style resort” which would be “part beach, part restaurant and part soft entertainment area.”

Although the Planning Authority has not yet granted its consent to the project, the developers have signed an agreement with the Malta Board Sports Association (MBSA) to allocate windsurfers who use the Ghallis point to practise their sports, 30 private car spaces.

Both parties also agreed that the developers will grant the MBSA a storage facility inside the lower parking level to be used in perpetuity by the association.

MBSA also declared it would be neutral with regard to the development application of the beach concession.

The stretch of the old Coast Road left redundant after the completion of the widened road at Bahar ic-Caghaq is being earmarked for a massive car park and private beach, despite ongoing works by Transport Malta to reclaim the land back to its natural state.

Plans for the development include a huge car park for 346 vehicles over two levels on both sides of the roundabout that lies on disturbed land, facing the sea. The project includes beach facilities with two five-metre-high gazebos with an oriental design on top of the parking area.

TM was expected to reinstate the area known as l-Ghadira s-Safra in the vicinity of Maghtab: the works, in strict collaboration with the Environment Resources Authority, were to remove the asphalt and re-introduce soil to the areas formerly covered with asphalt.

On its part, the ERA has already declared that any development on the site in question is protected by a 2016 conservation order. “The current state of the site shall not be used as a justification or pretext for its development… the development is still considered to be objectionable from an environmental point of view.”

The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has demanded photomontages of the project, given that beach project would be situated close to the remains of a Knights period coastal battery.

The SCH also said that the visual connection between the coastal military towers at Ta’ Qalet Marku and Ghallis should be protected without any hindering development.

The area is already a special area of conservation – a protected area that forms part of the Natura 2000 network – which supports unique and very rare species of freshwater crustaceans and lower plants. Since the application for the car park and beach facilities is being presented on public land, the Lands Authority has to issue its clearance for the project.

Additionally, in its representation on the project, the Malta Tourism Authority has asked the Planning Authority to consult Projects Malta – the entity responsible for public private partnerships. Both the MTA and Projects Malta now fall under the purview of tourism minister Konrad Mizzi.

In its letter, the MTA said Projects Malta should be consulted due to the fact that “the government is trying to identify locations for the provision of facilities in currently non-accessible beaches and shoreline.”

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