Blue Lagoon pier that will bring more visitors to Comino, resurrected by Transport Malta

Transport Malta has started environment impact studies for a 136m-long pier at Blue Lagoon

Transport Malta has started environment impact studies for a 136m-long pier at Blue Lagoon, previously shot down by both Superintendence for Cultural Heritage and the Environment and Resources Authority.

TM said the pier would address the shortfall of mooring facilities in the Blue Lagoon. “The high number of visitors results in heavy boat traffic as these are ferrying passengers to and from the Blue Lagoon.”

The extended wooden-decked pier will rest on piles embedded in the seabed. TM says the pier will also eliminate makeshift concrete paths. “Large ferry boats currently disembark passengers along this stretch of the coast, and passengers then access the bay via the said structures which are a health and safety hazard, especially for the mobility impaired.”

Comino pier will destroy iconic Blue Lagoon, watchdogs warn

TM said the pier will improve passenger safety by providing a level surface to access the ferries, apart from removing the concrete passages and restoring the shoreline to its original state.

But the pier is also expected to have negative environmental impacts. TM’s project development statement warns that the artificial structure along the otherwise natural coastline will be visible in views of the Blue Lagoon from the higher grounds around the site.

And since the pier will facilitate the mooring of larger ferries, it introduces the risk of having large vessels that will further disturb the views of the Blue Lagoon inlet, apart from increased numbers of visitors that disturb the protected or sensitive Natura 2000 habitats and species.

EIA consultants AIS have proposed a capping for boats of various sizes to ensure the inlet is not over-saturated with mooring boats.

The proposed use of a jack-up barge during works for the new pier will further extend the footprint of the damage on the seabed. The 655sq.m deck area will shadow the marine life underneath.

The Planning Authority’s cultural heritage advisory committee had already warned that the extended pier “will completely destroy the natural foreshore of the picturesque Blue Lagon” when similar plans were presented two years ago. The 12-member panel, composed of various luminaries in the legal, architectural and the artistic spheres and chaired by Joe Magro Conti, also advises the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage on planning applications. On its part, the Superintendence told the project’s architects to remove the extended pier from their plans after noting that this will “inevitably impact negatively on views of the area” which it described as an “iconic landscape”.

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