Press Release 07.10.2015

English / Malti

Press Release 7th October, 2015

Petrol Station policy paving way for urban sprawl – Front Ħarsien ODZ

Front Harsien ODZ is expressing its concern about a number of planning applications for the development of ODZ petrol stations and is objecting to five ODZ petrol stations proposed in the past months.

The Front notes that the wave of applications comes in the wake of the approval of a controversial new policy, which paves the way for a new urban sprawl, by further undermining the distinction between urban and rural areas.

“By undermining the distinction between urban and rural areas, petrol stations fully equipped by other facilities like a car wash could create a precedent for more development in the future,” the Front warned.

Front Harsien ODZ agrees with the relocation of petrol stations from urban areas where these can pose a danger to residents to designated industrial or storage areas outside development zones, but when relocated petrol stations should continue to occupy the same footprint as before.

The new policy approved last year, allows petrol stations to be relocated from existing sites to rural areas outside development zones. These fuel stations are also allowed to expand their facilities to up to 3000 square meters. The policy allows brand new petrol stations (not re-located ones) to be developed on over 3000 square meter sites in ODZ areas designated for industrial or storage use or as areas of containment.

Front Harsien ODZ is particularly concerned by a clause in the new policy which permits new petrol stations in rural areas “opposite or adjacent” to industrial and storage areas and areas of containment as this would result in an urban sprawl.

“There is no justification for 3000 square meters petrol stations in a small country like Malta.”

The Front also believes that all relocations should be limited to ODZ areas designated for industrial or storage use. Re-using the sites of abandoned petrol stations should also be considered. No permits for brand new petrol stations should be issued outside development boundaries as this would take the limited space available for re-located petrol stations.

Undeveloped sites located in areas of containment should also be avoided if development on these sites results in a sprawl of urban activities in rural areas. This is because areas of containment in fact are designated to create a transition between industrial or tourism areas and rural areas and not to increase extent of the urban sprawl.

The Front is therefore objecting to five ODZ petrol stations proposed in the past months. Two of these being proposed along Triq Burmarrad In Saint Paul’s Bay (TRK 163413 and TRK 159861).

One of the petrol stations in Burmarrad is being proposed by Easysell Kia Malta Ltd, a company owned by Tumas Group. The petrol station is being proposed on a vacant site designated as an area of containment but which was formerly a rural area ruined by past irregularities. The Front notes that three previous attempts to develop a carwash in the same area were rejected. MEPA’s Appeals Board had also reprimanded the owners for excavating the site without the necessary permission, and leaving the excavated material lying on the site and ordered the developers to restore the rural character of the area.

The other proposal in Burmarrad is being made by Construction and Turnkey House Ltd in an area adjacent to an area of containment in an area designated for its agricultural value. The Environment Protection Directorate has already objected to this proposal.

Front Harsien ODZ is also objecting to petrol stations being proposed along Triq is-Salina in Maghtab ( PA 03387/14 proposed by Paul Abela), in Triq l-Imdina in Attard (TRK 162894 proposed by Ludwig Camilleri) and another one in Triq l-Industrija il-Kirkop (TRK 163861 proposed by Giancarlo Cini), on agricultural land opposite an industrial area.

The Front will remain vigilant in assessing new applications for petrol stations and is calling on the government to revise the policy approved last year in view of its devastating consequences.

*

Stqarrija Stampa 7th October, 2015

Tħassib dwar mewġa ta’ applikazzjonijiet għal pompi tal-petrol -Front Ħarsien ODZ

Front Ħarsien ODZ qed jesprimi tħassib dwar numru dejjem jikber ta’ applikazzjonijiet għall-iżvilupp ta’ pompi tal-petrol barra miż-żoni ta’ żvilupp.

Il- Front jinnota li l-mewġa ta’ applikazzjonijiet qed iseħħ fid-dawl tal-politika gdida approvata mill-MEPA u mill-gvern li tiffaċilita l-approvazzjoni ta’ pompi tal-petrol barra miż-żona ta’ żvilupp. Dan jista’ jwassal għal iktar urbanizazzjoni li tnaffar id-distinzjoni bejn żoni urbani u żoni rurali, b’mod li jista’ joħloq preċedent għal iktar żvilupp fil-futur.

Il-politika approvata s-sena li għaddiet tippermetti r-rilokazzjoni ta’ pompi tal-petrol minn żoni urbani għal siti barra ż-żoni ta’ żvilipp il-pompi tal-petrol fl-ODZ jistu jitkabbru sa 3000 metru kwadru.

Il-politika (policy) tippermetti wkoll il-ftuħ ta’ pompi tal-petrol kompletament ġodda f’żoni ODZ klassifikati bħala żoni industrijali u żoni ta’ konteniment.

Il-Front hu partikolarment imħasseb bi klawsola tal-politika gdida li tippermetti pompi tal-petrol ġodda fuq mhedda ta’ art ta’ 3000 metru kwadru fuq żoni ODZ li jinsabu faċċata jew qrib żoni industrijali u żoni ta’ konteniment.

Dan ifisser estensjoni ta’ żoni industrijali fil-kampanja jew l-għelieqi madwar dwar is-siti.

Il-Front jaqbel mar-rilokazzjoni tal-pompi tal-petro eżistenti f’żoni urbani minħabba r-riksji għar-residenti li jgħixu fil-madwar. Madankollu dawn għandhom jiġu rilokati biss f’żoni industrijali u għandhom ikunu tal-istess daqs tal-pompa tal-petrol li jkunu qed jissostitwixxu. Għandhom jiġu kunsidrati siti ta’pompi tal-petrol abbandunati. Pompi tal-petrol ġodda qatt m’għandhom jingħataw permess fl-ODZ.

“M’hemm l-ebda ġustifikazzjoni għal pompi tal-petrol ta’ 3000 metru kwadru f’post żgħir bħal Malta.”

Il-Front qed joġġezzjoni għal ħames applikazzjonijiet għal-pompi tal-petrol fl-ODZ li ġew preżentati fl-aħħar xhur. Tnejn minn dawn qed jiġu proposti fi Triq Burmarrad, waħda minn Tumas Group u oħra minn Construction and Turnkey House Ltd.

Front Ħarsien ODZ qed joġġezzjona wkoll għal pompi tal-petrol proposti fi Triq is-Salini Naxxar, fi Triq l-Imdina f’Attard, u fi Triq l-Industrija f’ Ħal-Kirkop.

Il-Front se jaħdem biex ikun hemm skrutinju sħiħ ta’ dawn l-applikazzjonijiet u jsejjaħ lil gvern biex jirrevedi l-politika tiegħu biex jevita l-qirda ta’ żoni ambjentali.

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