Iklin petrol pump station withdrawn by applicant

Front Harsien ODZ says development would have been in breach of established policies with fireworks factory in vicinity

An outline application for a proposed fuel station to be built along the arterial Birkirkara bypass, limits of Iklin, was withdrawn earlier today by the applicant, two days before it was scheduled to be discussed and decided by the Planning Authority Board. 

The planning application was considered as not satisfying the eligibility and location criteria as established in the Fuel Service Stations policy and in conflict with the Central Malta Local Plan which designates the site as an area reserved for education purposes. The Planning Directorate was recommending to the Board to refuse the application.

The proposal, on a site located outside the development zone, sought planning permission to construct a fuel station with a car washing facility, shop and service area, a control room and parking spaces.

Front Ħarsien ODZ (FHODZ) called on the Planning Authority to refuse the outline application for the ODZ petrol station. It said that the case officer’s report concluded that the petrol station would be in breach of the Fuel Service Stations Policy and in conflict with the local plan.

“The plan identified the area as one of agricultural importance and which can only be used for the development of a primary school,” the front said in a statement. It also pointed out that the presence of a fireworks factory in the vicinity and that the proposed petrol station would be located on public land.

The Front said the development would in breach of the Planning Authority’s Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development that regulates the sustainable use and management of land and sea resources.

Under the plan, rural areas are only to be considered as a last resort for development after considering all feasible alternatives.

The Front said the Planning Directorate had objected in principle to the application and no traffic impact studies and environment impact assessments had been requested. “Therefore the board has no choice but to refuse the application,” it said.  “It does not make sense to commit the site with an outline permit in absence of these studies.”

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