A disused building in Marsa is set to be turned into a ferry terminal with an overlying clinic after it received a favourable recommendation from the Planning Authority’s (PA) case officer.

Situated along Church Wharf, the building – currently owned by Bezzina Group – is expected to become the Maltese end of a new catamaran operating between Malta and Sicily.

Owned by local retail magnate Paul Gauci, the Ragusa Xpress is planned to sail to Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa on Sicily’s south coast. The new ferry should have been operational by the beginning of summer 2024, but has seemingly been beset with delays in obtaining the necessary authorisations.

In late June, the Marsa ferry terminal was recommended for approval by the case officer assigned to the project, which includes internal alterations, a redesign of facade, the change of use of first floor from offices to a dental clinic, and the use of the ground floor as a ferry terminal.

A car park for 58 vehicles that will double as a drop-off location, on the adjacent site, has already received planning approval.

Bezzina Group is also involved in the Marina di Ragusa project, having been selected to manage and operate the new Mediterranean Yacht Yard at the port.

In the report, the case officer noted that turning the first floor into a dental clinic would re-use an existing approved office space into a more high-end use than the one already approved.

The building sits at the corner of Triq is-Salib tal-Marsa and Church Wharf

When considering that “the site is surrounded by several uses which are not exactly marine related [but] are of great importance in the regeneration of the entire area,” the clinic may be “considered favourably,” they argued.

The project is set to appear before the Planning Board on 26th July.

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