The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Gzira local council launches petition to stop petrol station being moved to local garden

Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 14:41 Last update: about 7 days ago

The Gzira Local Council has launched a parliamentary petition to stop the building of a petrol station from taking place in the Gzira public gardens.

On Wednesday, the Gzira mayor Conrad Borg Manche posted a video calling for the public to sign the petition. “If it is not for you, it is for your children. Together we will reach this.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The petition, titled “Safeguard the Gzira Gardens”, is to Parliament to request the Government to safeguard the garden in its entirety and to prevent a fuel pump from taking up any part of it.

“The Gzira community and the Maltese public are in desperate need of green open spaces in ever-growing urban areas. Our children have nowhere else to play, our families have nowhere else to meet, our senior citizens have nowhere else to rest. The Gzira Garden is the last remaining oasis in a locality suffocated with construction, commercialisation and traffic.”

"We plead that no part of the Gżira Garden, which is the last precious open space, be given under any form of title, lease or exchanged to accommodate a fuel station, car wash and ancillary facilities but for the public to continue to enjoy the full range of this open green space. This 20,000 square meter garden is the only breath-taking area left in the surrounding localities with the highest population density in our country. The interest of the citizens comes first and foremost."

In July, the Environment and Review Tribunal confirmed that a fuel station next to the Manoel Island bridge will be shifted into the Council of Europe public garden located just 100 meters away. The tribunal turned down an appeal by the Local Council, who objected to the move of the petrol station.

Borg Manche had said that he was “immensely disappointed” with the decision and that he will continue fighting against the loss of space in the public garden. “The fuel station will now be next to the only open space in the most populous locality on the island,” he had written in a Facebook post.

The Local Council had decided to open an appeal in the law courts against the relocation of the petrol station.

Two oak trees and an olive tree will be uprooted as a result of the proposed move.

The original application to relocate the fuel station was made in an attempt to widen the road and remove the bottleneck at the end of the Strand, yet the project never materialised.

  • don't miss