Projects Malta plans 40m extension to Mellieha’s Ghadira beach

Sand replenishment and wave deflection infrastructure will increase Mellieha’s popular sandy beach by some 40 metres

The area marked in red indicates the suggested extension of beach at Mellieha Bay
The area marked in red indicates the suggested extension of beach at Mellieha Bay

Ghadira beach will become between 30 to 40 metres wider if plans submitted by Projects Malta – the entity responsible for Private Public Partnerships – are approved.

The substantial extension over an area of 38,200sqm of sand will be carried out through sand replenishment and the construction of wave deflection infrastructure.

Plans submitted by architectural firm Environmental Management Design Planning (EMDP) also foresee the development of a new jetty near the Tunny Net complex.

Plans by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi to “leave a legacy” in turning Mellieha Bay into a “top European beach” were announced in July last year. In August when addressing the issue of encroachments by beach concessions at Ghadira, Mizzi noted that in view of beach erosion “we need to assess whether we can extend the beach to see if we can create more space.”

MaltaToday is informed that by extending the beach the government aims at striking what has so far been an elusive balance between private operators and public access by increasing the size of the beach. But the availability of more space may also trigger more pressures for the commercial exploitation of the beach.

Rising sea levels as a result of global warming may also represent a challenge, even if these are being addressed through studies conducted by foreign consultants.

In the next days the PA is also set to approve a new electricity substation near the Ghadira police station. The new 11KV substation is needed to cater for both present and future needs, providing spare capacity for any future requirements. An application for a beach concession on the rocky area opposite the Mellieha Holiday Centre is still pending.

The latest application does not include any changes to the road network. In 2009 the then transport minister Austin Gatt proposed the replacement of the present coast road with one passing behind the Birdlife nature reserve but this was shot down by both the Labour opposition and environmentalists.

The declared aim of this proposal was to stop beach erosion and restore sand dunes. But the use of studies commissioned by Seabank owner Silvio Debono to justify the move, led to suspicion that the aim of the project was to bring the beach closer to the newly-approved hotel. It was later scrapped.

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