Illegal restaurant extension denying access to fishermen, canoeists

In February, MEPA issued a number of enforcement notices over the erection of a boundary wall and lampposts and a number of alterations to the façade without permit

(Photo: Ray Attard)
(Photo: Ray Attard)

An illegally-constructed extension of the restaurant Scoglitti, located on the Marsamxett waterfront in Valletta, is proving to be an obstacle to fishermen, canoeists and owners of several boathouses in the area, according to one concerned boathouse owner who is a member of the Marsamxett Fishermen’s Association.

MaltaToday was contacted by the boathouse owner himself after attempts on his part to address the issue with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) proved futile. He claimed that the restaurant, which was opened to the public only last year, was in breach of various MEPA regulations.

In February, MEPA issued a number of enforcement notices over the erection of a boundary wall and lampposts and a number of alterations to the façade without permit. Moreover, the authority’s planning directorate withdrew the application for development permission for the replacement of the ceramic floors and a number of internal alterations to what once served as the Valletta police station.

Having provided Malta Today with the MEPA planning application details, it transpires that the development included the illegal construction of a boundary wall, the installation of lamp posts, the opening of blocked windows and aluminum apertures, and the construction of a bollard.

Moreover, and more pressing for the affected parties, a number of tables and chairs have been placed along the waterfront without MEPA’s approval. This has made it difficult for boat-house owners to access their property, and for fishermen and the general public to make their way to the sea.

“Apart from the fact that these installations are illegal, they are creating obstacles for the general public and for fishermen, canoeists, boat-house owners and everyone else eligible to make use of this land,” he said. “This is a clear case of abuse and nothing is being done about it.”

A petition with the signatures of several affected parties and calling for the removal of the tables and chairs has also been drafted. The petition includes the signatures of persons associated with the Fishermen’s and Canoeing Association, and various boat-house owners, as well as garage owners.

Attempts to contact the Lands Department for their reaction were made, to no avail.

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