Din l-Art Helwa condemns the decision by the Planning Board to grant a permit to a new petrol station in Burmarrad.
This decision is especially objectionable since the government has already accepted that the fuel stations policy is flawed and requires revision. The government has however failed to provide a sound and timely policy review on the relocation of fuel stations to outside development areas.
One consequence of this failure is that Burmarrad will have two massive petrol stations, barely 2km apart, with another three petrol stations located within 500m of the northern most petrol station. It is time to end the charade of relocating a tiny roadside pump with 3000 sq.m. petrol station, complete with car wash, eatery, and offices, on the basis of the excuse that it is beneficial to the community to relocate petrol pumps out of the urban areas. It is not of benefit to the community to lose green areas to unnecessary uses such as more petrol stations.
The Minister responsible for the Planning Authority, Ian Borg, is long overdue in presenting this policy review, in spite of repeated protests by civil society demanding that the revised policy is published immediately.
Din l-Art Helwa reiterates its demand that no further permits for the relocation of fuel stations from urban to rural areas should be granted until this policy review is satisfactorily concluded, giving priority to the protection of Malta’s dwindling natural environment.
The Planning Authority is enabling the destruction and over-exploitation of natural and agricultural land by fuel stations, ignoring the wider picture.
Din l-Art Helwa urges the government to urgently reconsider its encouragement of a planning system which is far too lax and lacks sound vision for this country’s future.