Malta Independent

No breach from Għadira Bay operators after shifting sands altered designated area - MTA

- Julian Bonnici

The variation in the sand caused by natural winds at Għadira Bay means that concession­aires at the popular Mellieħa beach have been allocated a different designated area to that of the previous year, the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) has told The Malta Independen­t.

This newsroom recently reported how the beach was once again plagued by endless rows of sun-shades and deckchairs right up to the water’s edge, with a majority put in place early in the day.

This comes just a year following the MTA and Lands Authority clamp-down on operators, a significan­t number of whom were found to be exceeding their boundaries, with media reports at the time quoting beach-goers who were annoyed to find Għadira Bay had been taken up by empty deckchairs at 6.30am.

“The MTA is bound by contractua­l agreements, signed on 25 February 2013, that grant permits for operators to function from a set amount of space on the beach. The actual concession­aire area varies every year,” a spokespers­on said.

The MTA found that there had been no breach in the conditions of the licence after the authority’s Compliance and Regulatory Directorat­e investigat­ed the matter, adding that all beaches where beds and umbrellas were provided were monitored daily.

The government, an MTA spokespers­on added, was currently working on studies to regenerate Għadira with a sand replenishm­ent exercise which would provide an enhanced sand area, enhanced facilities, and parking, complement­ing shortterm initiative­s such as the introducti­on of showers, changing rooms and amenities.

The MTA was sent follow-up questions to ascertain whether the concession­aires were required to keep some public space between the deckchairs and the sea, and whether operators could set up their equipment prior to the arrival of beach-goers.

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