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Mayor questions timing of Balluta beach project

Works coincide with locality’s festa

St Julian’s mayor is questioning the timing of work aimed at enlarging the Balluta Bay beach, echoing complaints of bathers and residents that dredging kicked off at the height of summer and coincided with the locality’s festa.

“While the council appreciates the much-needed work to restore the size of the beach, we believe this could have taken place after the feast,” Guido Dalli said.

Balluta’s Madonna tal-Karmnu feast will be celebrated on Sunday. 

Also, for the sake of bathers, works could have started at the beginning of September, considering this was the only beach in the vicinity, Mr Dalli added.

The sandy beach at Balluta Bay is being increased in size through an experimental ‘sand-renourishment’ project.

Rather than importing sand, as happened with similar plans at Buġibba and St George’s Bay, the project will use sand dredged from the same bay to restore the size of the much-diminished beach.

This could have taken place after the feast

St George’s Bay was replenished with 5,000 cubic metres of sand imported from Jordan in 2004.

Over the years, residents have expressed their wish to see Balluta Bay embellished, and plans to increase it in size date back at least eight years.

In 2010, Times of Malta had reported that the bay could be brought back to life and increased in size according to plans drafted by the St Julian’s council.

The council, back then headed by Peter Bonello, was proposing upgrading the bay by adding a substantial amount of sand as well as improving accessibility to the beach from the promenade.

However, now that project has kicked off at the bay, some have complained that the work could not have started at a worse time.

Questions sent to the Tourism Ministry remained unanswered by the time of going to print.

Balluta Bay - as it was 100 years ago.Balluta Bay - as it was 100 years ago.

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