Din l-Art Helwa comments to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority on the formulation of a policy for the development of fuel service stations and ancillary development
30th September 2013
- Din l-Art Helwa questions why the objectives of this policy are being issued for consultation without any supporting information. The consultation document should be accompanied by, at least:
- an overview of the current number and state of existing fuel stations, including their location and legal status;
- a thorough assessment of whether any new fuel stations are required in the first place.
- All planning policies must ensure the safeguarding and protection of the rural environment as a precious resource, and counteract the urban sprawl into the countryside. They must emphasise the protection of rural landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity, and highlight the conservation and restoration of all natural habitats in rural areas and safeguard them against pressures from development.
- The removal of inappropriate or illegal development from the countryside should be promoted, and its use, re-development or sanctioning should be actively discouraged.
- DLH contends that absolutely no development should be allowed in rural areas if such development can be avoided.
- The degradation of rural land should never be accepted as a justification for the development of vacant land, as this encourages blatant abuse.
- Vernacular rural architecture and old agricultural features in the countryside should be protected, including their context.
- All land which can be cultivated as arable land should be safeguarded. The fact that the land is not cultivated at present should not be accepted as a justification to use it for development. The fragmentation of agricultural land must be avoided.
- All forms of light pollution should be avoided in rural areas, including from roads.
- A high level of design should be promoted in all aspects of development, including fuel stations.