The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Fortina Group files another application over St Julian’s pontoon

Thursday, 21 October 2021, 13:10 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Fortina Group has filed another application regarding the St Julian's pontoon, Mayor Albert Buttigieg posted on Facebook.

The application reads: "Correction of site plan of permit PA/7628/19 to reflect smaller pontoon and shifting for environmental considerations."

Buttigieg in his post, however, writes: "Fortina Group files a second application seeking a larger pontoon to turn the bay into a commercial port!"

Works on the pontoon had been suspended last June when residents and activists blocked works. The pontoon is intended to be used by a hop-on, hop-off ferry.

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The total site area in the new application is listed as 130sqm, whereas in the 2019 application it was listed as 81sqm.

A company spokesperson told Times of Malta however, that the pontoon will be smaller and that the estimated area was larger due to a contingency that was included. "The size of the pontoon has reduced from 5m wide by 14.5m long to 5m wide by 10.5m long," the spokesperson told Times of Malta. The allowance was made on the foorptint in the site plan in consideration that the pontoon's final alignment could slightly vary at sea during positioning, the spokesperson said.

Buttigieg, in his post, said that "Balluta Bay is a bay and not a PORT for a commercial 33 meter long catamaran to enter/exit 22 times a day," while urging people to object.

A number of objections have already been filed. One reads: "Under the guise of an innocent pontoon, the applicant is hogging the little coastline left and starting a marine ferry service right in the middle of a very popular bathing area. We note that this is just one landing place/berth of the proposed iSeeMalta ferry operations - a new hop-on hop-off ferry system which will apparently be in operation soon."


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