Pledge to relocate illegal kiosk is 'honoured' says junior minister

Parliamentary secretary Michael Falzon addresses press conference about the relocation of Munchies kiosk

As it will be, legally... access through a kiosk-style entrance on car park level, and the new Munchies restaurant built beneath the car park
As it will be, legally... access through a kiosk-style entrance on car park level, and the new Munchies restaurant built beneath the car park
Golden Bay beach where the Munchies kiosk was originally built
Golden Bay beach where the Munchies kiosk was originally built

Parliamentary secretary for planning Michael Falzon today said the government had honoured a pledge to relocate an illegally constructed restaurant off the Golden Sands beach at Ghajn Tuffieha, within the existing car park.

Falzon said various authorities, MEPA and the Lands Department were involved in the resolution of the controversial matter, after which MEPA unanimously approved the transfer of the Munchies kiosk from the middle of Golden Bay to a site adjacent to the car park.

The kiosk used to occupy an ecologically sensitive area and has been dismantled.

Although most of the new facility will be located under the carpark, the new development will include an 80 square metre terrace overlooking the beach.

The planning directorate had previously recommended the approval of the relocation of the kiosk presently located on the beach to an area located under the present car park. The development also includes a smaller structure over the carpark and an 80 square metre open terrace, described as a belvedere, where tables and chairs will be placed. Six parking spaces from the existing carpark will be lost as a result of development.

The illegal restaurant will be now built inside the underground space for the new establishment. The main outlet for the new unit will therefore be in line with the current alignment of the retaining wall of the car park, representing the only “façade” of the new establishment at this level.

This proposal was already approved in principle in 2005, but back then the outline permit specified that all structures were to be built under the car park.

The present proposal, which is larger than the illegal restaurant set to be removed, also involves the construction of an access in the existing car park occupying 24 square metres and a terrace to accommodate a number of tables and chairs.

The layout of the proposed restaurant includes a customer floor space of 180 square metres, a kitchen and preparation area, bar, stores, freezers and cold room and other ancillary facilities, such as lockers, changing room and toilets for an additional floor area of approximately 340 square metres.

Another reason for the approval of the new restaurant is that both the illegal kiosk on the sandy beach and the staircase leading from the road must be removed. The other reason is that the latest plans limit the structures at ground floor (car park) level to a maximum floor space of 45 square metres.

In 2008, MEPA’s advisory committee on natural heritage demanded the authority stop processing this application because it was in breach of the outline permit, since part of the construction was above road level. Photomontages of the project presented by the applicant in fact show an intensification of cluttered development on the hotel side of the beach.

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