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Updated - Boat moorings will ruin Pretty Bay - Birzebbuga council

Video: Jason Borg

Adds Transport Malta reaction - The Birzebbuga council is protesting against plans to place some 300 boat moorings at Wied Il-Buni, saying that these would jeopardise plans to give Blue Flag status to the nearby Pretty Bay. 

Mayor Joe Farrugia urged authorities to reconsider this project, saying it would ruin one of the few remaining sandy beaches in the south of the island.

The council is proposing to relocate these moorings to St Georges Bay, also in Birzebbuga. This would require some sort of protection from the elements by mean of a breakwater, the council said.

Addressing a news conference at Pretty Bay this morning, Mr Farrugia lamented that the council had not been consulted by the authorities including Transport Malta.

This project was originally intended to relocate some 90 moorings a safe distance away from the Freeport.

However, Transport Malta also issued a call for boat owners wanting such a facility, trebling the number of moorings as a result.

He said that the project would scupper the three-year plan to give Pretty Bay Blue Flag status, due to be awarded next year.

The council said that they would be proposing alternatives in consultation with the boat owners association.

TRANSPORT MALTA REACTION

Transport Malta in a reaction said it has been meeting and consulting  representatives of Għaqda Sajjieda Dilettanti (Birżebbuga), who represent the boat owners, for at least the past two years. It   met with Local Council representatives very recently.

"The relocation of these moorings is necessary for safety reasons. It is aimed at providing boat owners with moorings within a safe location, outside the swimming zone, within an organised system. This allows maximum utilisation of space and maneuverability whilst ensuring the safety of both boat users and bathers alike."

TM said the relocation process was done through a public call for tenders. There were no objections to this, not even from the local council.

"Transport Malta will do its utmost to assist, in any way it can, towards the achievement of the Blue Flag status for Pretty Bay. The unfounded claim made today by the Mayor that the relocation of moorings may jeopardize the blue flag project, may be regarded as highly unrealistic in view that similar arrangements already exist in other designated Blue Flag beaches" Transport Malta said.  

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