3,000sq.m fuel station proposed instead of miniscule petrol pump in Gozo

Victoria petrol station proposed for relocation to 3000 sq.m of agricultural land in B’Bugia equipped by all amenities including a food and drink establishment

An application foreseeing a similar development had been withdrawn in February after the Planning Directorate recommended it for refusal
An application foreseeing a similar development had been withdrawn in February after the Planning Directorate recommended it for refusal

The relocation of a miniscule kerb side petrol pump in Pjazza Savina in Victoria is  being used as a pretext for the development of  a massive fuel station on 3,000sq.m of agricultural land along Hal Far road in B’Bugia.

An application foreseeing a similar development had been withdrawn in February after the Planning Directorate recommended it for refusal.

One of the reasons given by the case officer for recommending the application’s refusal was that the application did not foresee the relocation of an existing petrol station.

The policy approved in 2014 only allows the construction of brand new fuel stations on sites, which are either opposite or adjacent to industrial areas.  

The case officer noted that this was not the case with the proposed fuel station.  The application was also shot down because it   it surpassed the 3000-sq.m threshold dictated by policy.

Presented by Michael Zammit, the application foresees the relocation of a small kerb site pump in Pjazza Savina in Victoria Gozo.

The application foresses the Victoria petrol pump (top picture) being relocated to a 3,000sq.m plot of agricultural land in B’Bugia
The application foresses the Victoria petrol pump (top picture) being relocated to a 3,000sq.m plot of agricultural land in B’Bugia

The petrol station is now being re-proposed on 3,000sq.m of agricultural land.  

Since the proposal is now being presented as a relocation of an existing fuel station, the current policy does not preclude its development on this site.  

This is because petrol stations can be relocated on any ODZ parcel, which does not enjoy higher protection through scheduling.

The new petrol station is set to include a car wash, a food and drink establishment, an auto shop, a vulcanizer and tyre service garage and a valeting garage.

For the past year the government has procrastinated on changing the current policy which allows mega petrol stations in the ODZ; either opposite or adjacent to industrial areas if brand new and in other ODZ areas along arterial roads if relocated.  

Faced with a sit-in protest by Graffitti activists Minister Ian Borg has committed himself to issue the final draft of the policy for public consultation by the end of April.  

While the Environment and Resources Authority had proposed a ban on ODZ fuel stations, it is expected that the new policy will still permit the relocation of petrol stations in ODZ areas.

This is expected to encourage the sale of existing licenses for kerb side fuel stations by land hungry developers.

Next Thursday the Planning Authority is faced with another application to relocate another miniscule kerb side fuel station in Burmarrad to 1700 sq.m of agricultural land in the same locality.  

The PA is also considering an application to relocate a petrol station in valley road to Rabat road.  

In this case Edgar Borg & Sons Limited had sold the license to Luqa Developments Limited in March 2014.

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