Danish Village withdraws application for Ghadira beach concession

The withdrawal of the application follows objections presented by both the Malta Tourism Authority and the Lands Authority

The application had been originally recommended for approval leading to a wave of public disapproval after it was reported by MaltaToday
The application had been originally recommended for approval leading to a wave of public disapproval after it was reported by MaltaToday

The Danish Village has withdrawn an application for a beach concession on a picnic area on the rocky stretch of the Ghadira Bay coastline, proposed by the owners of the Danish Village.

The application had been originally recommended for approval by the case officer leading to a wave of public disapproval following a report on MaltaToday which highlighted the case.

But in a revised report the case officer recommended refusal, citing the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development, which specifies that existing coastal recreational resources be protected, enhanced and made publicly accessible.

The original case officer report made no reference to this policy and recommended approval on the basis of the proposal being linked to an existing committed hotel.

The case officer also pointed out in the revised report that the applicant had failed to obtain the consent from the Lands Authority. Previously the case officer had specified that “the land is question is privately owned by the Mellieha Holiday Centre Limited”.

The withdrawal of the application follows objections presented by both the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and the Lands Authority.

The MTA 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 operators in the bay who were in the past granted a concession to rent sunbeds and umbrellas.

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

READ MORE: MTA formally objects to Għadira beach concession

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 Ghadira”.

But the MTA hinted that it may change its position if Ghadira 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”. The PA is currently assessing an application by Projects Malta foreseeing a 30-metre extension of the beach.

The proposal envisaged 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 at Ghadira.

READ MORE: MTA opposed to Danish Village Għadira concession, Tourism Minister says

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