Lands Authority objects as PA to decide on Danish Village beach concession on Friday

The Malta Tourism Authority hints that it may drop its objection if beach loss at Għadira is reversed

The MTA has objected to plans for an extension to the Danish Village
The MTA has objected to plans for an extension to the Danish Village

A proposed beach concession for the Danish Village in Għadira has hit a major snag after both the Lands Authority and the Malta Tourism Authority have formally objected to the proposal.

The proposal envisages the erection of demountable platforms, pathways and trees on a 50-metre stretch of the rocky shoreline in a picnic area between the sandy beaches. The area is the only place where BBQs are allowed in Għadira.

In the last sitting, the Planning Commission had asked for a clearance from the Lands Authority (LA) and Transport Malta (TM) before approving the project as recommended by the Planning Directorate.

While TM has issued its clearance for the project since the application does not foresee any works under the road, the Lands Authority has formally objected.

The applicants had previously presented documents confirming that the structures related to the beach concession are all located on property they own. At a previous stage when the proposed development was larger it had been indicated that a part of the site was government owned.

The Malta Tourism Authority has also officially written to the PA to “change its no objection” issued on 31 January citing “overriding circumstances”.

The MTA’s change of heart was announced by Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi upon being asked whether he agreed with the proposed concession for the Danish Village by MaltaToday during a press event in which he announced a 2,400 sq.m reduction in the area occupied by other beach concession in the bay.

In its objection the MTA claims that “this summer, the beach of Għadira has witnessed a considerable reduction in size and surface area to the detriment of the general public spaces”.

For this reason the “Ministry of Tourism and the MTA had to intervene to discuss a reduction in area for each concession currently operating in Għadira”.

But the MTA hinted that it may change its position if Għadira beach increases in size.

The MTA argued that its position against the Danish village beach concession “may be changed if the beach shows signs of recovery” and if there is “an increase in surface area such that the public areas may again be adequate”.

In its submissions the MTA made no reference to a pending application presented last year by Projects Malta which foresees a 30-metre extension to the beach.

Preliminary studies have shown that the project will require extensive engineering works, including a submerged wave deflector built over 20,000sq.m of seabed, aimed at dissipating the power of incoming waves reaching the popular beach. The project would also require the dredging of 80,000 cb.m of sand from areas which are not inhabited by protected sea grasses.

The dredged material will be deposited to create a seaward extension of the sandy beach. The Għadira beach extension application is currently suspended at the request of the applicant.

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