The Malta Independent 15 December 2017, Friday

Partit Demokratiku wants revision of fuel station policy

Thursday, 7 December 2017, 09:25 Last update: about 8 days ago

Partit Demokratiku’s representatives in Parliament have written to the chairperson of the Parliamentary Permanent Committee on Environment and Development to revisit The Fuel Station Policy. Since its implementation two years ago it is very evident that this policy has failed to address its true objectives and it is already outdated as it does not conform to Malta’s national direction to a green transport.

Malta boasts 77 fuel stations, 8 of which are in Gozo, Godfrey and Marlene Farrugia wrote in their letter to Alex Muscat, who heads the committee. Planning Authority is presently screening a number of applications some of which were submitted before 2015 and has also granted at least one permit in breach of the approved policy.

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The two MPs then listed a list of issues that in their opinion need to be addressed:

-The policy can theoretically allow for a fuel station permit to be issued at every 500 m along a stretch of road passing through rural land.

-Once a fuel station application is approved and rural land is disturbed, there is neither supervision nor enforcement while such a project is completed.

-The policy does not fit in a long term national plan and does not support Government’s recent declaration that local transport should go electric by 2040

-Land speculators are being encouraged to buy relatively cheap agricultural land and turn it into a rural commercial gold mine by utilizing such a policy.

-PA is not actively embarking on what the policy encourages: the relocation of fuel stations from urban areas to non-urban areas, with preferences given to designated Industrial Areas, SME sites, areas of Containment and/or Open Storage Areas. This would alleviate urban traffic congestion and safeguard health and safety interests.

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