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PD insists Fuel Service Station Policy should be revisited

PD said that the Government should safeguard rural areas and ODZ land.  Once a fuel station application is approved and rural land is disturbed, there is no enforcement to ensure that such a project is completed

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Maria Pace
4 November 2017, 2:27pm
Partit Demokratiku said the Fuel Service Station Policy needs to be revisited if it is not being strictly adhered to.

In a statement, PD said that Land speculators are buying relatively cheap agricultural land and turning it into a rural commercial goldmine through an imprecise Fuel Station Policy.

Malta boasts 77 fuel stations, 8 of which are in Gozo. Planning Authority is presently screening four other applications which were submitted before 2015

PD stressed that once a fuel station application is approved and rural land is disturbed, there is no enforcement to ensure that such a project is completed.

It was said that while Government has recently declared that local transport should be electric by 2040, it is not doing enough to safeguard urban areas and ODZ land.

Partit Demokratiku noted that a Burmarrad fuel station was recently approved in breach of the 2015 Fuel Service Station Policy, as the stipulated 500m distance which is designated to separate one station from another was not upheld.

The Fuel Service Station Policy allows for the screening of new stations or the relocation of stations from urban areas to ODZ land, as long as the site is designated non-agricultural and gives preference to locations designated Industrial Areas, SME sites, areas of Containment or Open Storage Areas.

Another application asked for the demolition of an existing farmhouse and the construction of a fuel station with ancillary services, garages and cafeteria over an area of 27,000 square metres when the policy restricts that the footprint of such a development should not exceed 3000 square metres.

"PA is repeatedly irreversibly damaging our natural capital and ERA (Environment Resource Authority) is toothless," PD stated. "such services should be pulled down and the sites restored to their original natural state."

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Maria Pace joined MaltaToday in 2017.