The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

Controversial Burmarrad fuel station approved just days before publication of new policy

Thursday, 25 April 2019, 16:41 Last update: about 5 months ago

The Planning Authority today approved the building of another fuel station in Burmarrad, just five days before the expected publication of a revision of the fuel stations policy.

The application is for a station with an area of circa 1,680 square meters and is located on an arterial road (Triq Burmarrad).

Although the local plan does not designate the site as an Area of agricultural Importance, the site is situated within an area which is predominantly characterized by agricultural land and related rural activity. The site is situated circa 113 metres from Burmarrad development scheme, the case officer’s report read.


The case officer’s report reads that the Maltese Environmental NGO's Birdlife Malta, Front Harsien ODZ, Nature Trust Malta and the Agrarian Society Malta raised concerns over three development application for Petrol Stations within Burmarrad. It is being stated that these developments are in breach with the Fuel Station Policy, 2015.

This application includes the construction of a fuel station and ancillary facilities. The proposed works include: fuel pumps, a car wash, a retail outlet, a garage, an office, parking spaces/drying areas. A lightweight canopy is being proposed as to cover the fueling area. This development application also includes the decommissioning of an existing kerb side fuel station at Burmarrad.

The case officer’s report noted that there were two previous outline development applications on this site for the construction of a fuel station, both of which were refused with reasons including that the site did not fall within the development zone. Since then however, government had introduced the fuel stations policy.

Commenting on this application, the Environment and Resources authority said that there is no valid justification for the further loss of undeveloped land outside the development zone boundary, along with the associated environmental impacts to accommodate such use. “There is also significant concern regarding the cumulative environmental impact caused by the numerous ad hoc proposals for petrol stations currently being proposed on ODZ land.“

The case officer’s report noted that Initially the fuel station footprint was proposing an area of 3770sqm which eventually had been reduced to 2440sqm and reached the final proposed footprint of 1680sqm.

The case officer had recommended that this application be approved.

The PA board approved the development with four votes against and seven votes in favour.

Opposition representative Marthese Portelli, environmental NGO representative Annick Bonello, Environmental authority chairman Victor Axiak, and PA chair Vince Cassar all voted against.

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