Paceville street ‘not ideal’ for al fresco platform, tourism authority told PA

Busy St George’s Street was “not ideal” for bar’s outdoors platform, MTA told Planning Authority

The planning members that decided to green-light a controversial ‘al fresco’ platform on St George’s Street in Paceville were already warned against handing out the permit.

Not that it needed telling: the Planning Authority’s planning commission’s permit for Cork’s Irish bar outdoors platform has already raised the public’s hackles about yet another encroachment on Maltese roads.

But the Malta Tourism Authority actually warned the PA not to issue the permit for chairs on tables on such a busy public road.

The MTA had indeed told the PA hat the erection of the outdoors platform for chairs and tables protruding into the street in front of the Cork’s Irish bar was not such a good idea.

In its submission on the application the MTA “noted that the area is somewhat busy with traffic and therefore the site is not ideal for tables and chairs”. It added however, that if the proposal was to be accepted, it should ensure safety to pedestrians.

But the application was still recommended for approval by the PA’s case officer and unanimously approved by the three members of the PA’s planning commission. The permit was issued with a condition stipulating the erection of “safety bollards”.

The case officer simply replied that “traffic issues fall under the remit of Transport Malta” and not under the PA. But the case officer report makes no reference to any consultation being carried out on the permit with Transport Malta.

It transpires that TM had submitted a representation on this application but this was not included, as it was received four days after the consultation period expired.

The CRPD – commission for the right of persons with a disability – had also warned the PA against issuing the permit because a clear pedestrian width should be maintained with no obstruction.

The case officer replied that a 1.5 metres clear pedestrian passage had been retained.