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Partit Demokratiku calls for revision of fuel station policy

'it is very evident that the police has failed to address its true objectives and it is already outdated,' said PD

amy_micallef_decesare
Amy Micallef Decesare
7 December 2017, 9:28am
A call has been made for Malta’s fuel station policy to be revisited, by the PD to parliament’s Environment and Development Committee.

In a statement directed at committee chairperson Hon Alex Muscat, MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia said that since the implementation of the policy two years, ago “it is very evident that the police has failed to address its true objectives and it is already outdated”.

They said that Malta has 77 fuel stations, 8 of which are in Gozo and the Planning Authority is screening a number of applications, some of which were submitted before 2015.

At least one permit “in breach of the approved policy” was granted, they added.

They outlined a list of shortcomings in the policy, including that it could theoretically allow for a fuel station permit to be issued at every 500m along a stretch of road passing through rural land, there would be lack of supervision or enforcement once an application is approved, the policy did not fit in a long term national plan and did not support the declaration that local transport should go electric by 2040.

The policy, they said, encouraged land speculators to buy inexpensive agricultural land and convert it into a “rural commercial gold mine by utilizing such a policy.”

The PA, they said, was not actively embarking on what the policy initially encouraged, which was the “relocation of fuel stations from urban to non-urban areas, with preferences given to designated industrial areas”, with preferences given to designated industrial areas, SME sites and areas of containment and/or open storage areas.

“This would alleviate urban traffic congestion and safeguard health and safety interests,” they said.