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Kalkara Marina to undergo expansion for 334 new berths

 

Malta’s 173-berth Kalkara Marina, which is located in Kalkara Creek in Malta’s Grand Harbour, is to be expanded with a further 334 berths for boats of up to 10m (39ft) in size.

According to a Project Development Statement issued by Transport Malta, the government agency that looks after the country’s marine industry, the expansion will “enhance harbour views” and will also provide a clutter-free corridor between the new berths and shoreline.

The statement indicates that the new berths will occupy a 35,000m² area within the Creek along Triq Sally Port and Triq ix-Xatt roads. The expansion will add to the existing 173 berths that extend across an area of 21,000m² in front of a boatyard at Villa Bighi.

An expansion plan submitted by Transport Malta last year shows that the additional berths will comprise 90 for boats under 6m, 80 for boats between 6m-8m, and 161 for yachts between 8m-10m (26ft-39ft) with a maximum width of 7m.

The statement suggests that “the present situation where boats are parked haphazardly in the bay pays little tribute to the splendour of the fortifications and the proposed project shows how an organised system can be set up.” A previous objection about the intensity of the berths from the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage (SCH) has been withdrawn.

The SCH now welcomes the latest design for the new berths and particularly the inclusion of a “corridor along the shoreline” which is “free of any moorings and free of any clutter” as well as a central corridor between the moorings.

Transport Malta, making reference to the rising number of boats needing berths in Malta, told Malta Today: “The increasing number of applications shows that in a few years the area will be inundated with boats of all sizes and types. This future scenario will have a visual impact on the scheduled structures.”

The marina expansion will see the installation of concrete anchors and does not include any attachments to the edge of the coast and hence is “a totally reversible project”.

Transport Malta says there is an annual 70-berth increase in the number of applications. The need for this expansion project is therefore justified and if the situation is not addressed imminently, the space will soon run out with far fewer boats than the maximum capacity of the area. The expansion will allow for a larger number of boats to be berthed in a smaller area and will provide a better approach in and out of the inlet.

Malta’s Environment and Resources Authority has also issued its clearance for the project with the condition that concrete anchors and mooring lines are placed at least 2m away from the nearest corals. According to studies, Kalkara Creek hosts 12 colonies of the protected Mediterranean Pillow coral (cladocora caespitosa) which is listed in the IUCN Red List as an endangered species.

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