A site that morphed into a caravan village over the years next to Splash and Fun in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq has defied an agreement that stipulates that the camper vans on-site must clear out of the area by 15 September every year.
The site that’s a few hundred metres down the road from Splash and Fun water park, a different site from another area that has been earmarked by the government for a temporary caravan site in the same locality, has been officially maintained by an agreement the authorities had signed in 2009.
The agreement, tweaked slightly in 2013, allows the Safari Camping Club to rent the area at the cost of around €70,000 a year, according to a person on-site who had identified themselves as the administrator of the area during a previous site visit. The site is also responsible for its own cleaning and waste disposal costs, according to the same individual.
However, the agreement was previously reported as stipulating that the site is made available to the camping club from 15 May – 15 September, with any and all caravans in the area obliged to clear out by mid-September.
A site visit made by The Shift on Monday confirmed that caravans were still in the area, with a garbage truck visibly making its rounds and picking up the day’s waste. A few of the residents of the area could also be seen going about their day.
Questions to the economy ministry, which oversees the Lands Authority, have been sent by The Shift to determine whether the agreement from 2013 still stands and whether any changes have been made. The ministry was also asked whether any action will be taken to clear out the site.
This follows reports by Newsbook in January on these caravans being on site beyond the deadline.
Further up the road, adjacent to the Magħtab landfill, another site, also presently occupied with caravans, has been chosen as a location for a proposed caravan area along with another proposed area in Armier.
Local councillors from Naxxar and Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq confirmed that the government had failed to consult with them on the selection of the sites, with a separate report quoting a spokesperson for the environment ministry stating that the sites had been selected since they are on government-owned land.
In particular, Naxxar’s local council had not only proposed plans for that same site to be converted into an area for the promotion of water sports, but also went as far as instituting a by-law to ensure that caravans and camper vans would not be allowed to park along the Coast Road.
In spite of the council’s efforts, local government minister Jose’ Herrera had stated that the by-law spearheaded by Naxxar’s council would not be approved due to the fact that the central government was working on a plan to assign such a site within the locality.
Kaċċaturi San Ubertu, a hunters’ association, had filed an objection to the government’s decision to assign the site at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, flagging serious issues with waste disposal and voicing concerns related to the nearby nature reserve the association runs.