The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Moviment Graffitti appeals PA’s approval of 'massive' Burmarrad ODZ fuel station

Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 10:06 Last update: about 4 months ago

Moviment Graffitti said it has filed an appeal with the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) against the Planning Authority’s (PA) decision to approve a massive fuel station on ODZ in Burmarrad.

In this outrageous decision taken last April, the PA Board granted a permit for a tiny fuel pump of around 2m² to be “relocated” on 3,700m² of good agricultural land. This development would include several retail facilities in addition to the fuel station.  

Moviment Graffitti appealed this decision since the PA Board has once again shown a total disregard for the policies regulating development in Malta. As if it were not bad enough that the 2015 Fuel Service Station Policy considers primarily developers’ interests rather than the environment, the PA Board chooses to blatantly ignore even the minimum and insufficient environmental safeguards contained in this Policy.

In fact, the Fuel Service Station Policy clearly specifies that fuel stations are not to be relocated on “good agricultural land”. This Burmarrad ODZ site has been certified by all the expert consultees and relevant authorities as “good agricultural land” and is currently used for agricultural purposes.

Moreover, the Policy states that ODZ fuel stations shall have a footprint not exceeding 3,000m². The approved fuel station’s size is 3,700m², Graffitti said.

The appeal also includes a number of other grounds relating to the incomplete documentation available to the public prior and during the hearing, the PA Board not giving reasons for its decision and the Board’s disregard for policies such as the Rural Policy, the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED) and the Agricultural Policy.

This decision by the PA Board is the perfect example of how the planning process in Malta is systematically leading to the destruction of our country in order to satisfy the greed of the few. To make sure that developers are totally accommodated, the PA Board shamelessly ignores even the feeble safeguards provided by the PA’s own defective policies.

 

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