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PA launches review of fuel station policy; will take ERA recommendations into account

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The Planning Authority has started the process to review the highly controversial 2015 Fuel Service Station Policy.

The policy has seen a number of fuel stations relocated, and many applications for such relocation, most of which were at the heart of controversy given the potential uptake of large amounts of ODZ land.

Environment Minister Jose Herrera had ordered the Environment and Resources to review the policy and put forward their proposals, which they had.

The PA has now said that it is going to start reviewing the policy. “The process will kick off with the publishing of the proposed objectives which will guide the review. The proposed objectives were forwarded to the Authority by Government, the PA said.

The objectives include:

(1) To highlight past, current and future trends in the development of fuel stations;

(2) To review the current situation terms of the type  (kerbside or non-kerbside, ancillary facilities), scale (footprint in square meters) and location (within the Development Zone or ODZ) of existing fuel stations;

(3) To review pending outline applications, full development applications and new submissions for fuel stations;

(4) To consult all related authorities;

(5) To prepare a revised policy framework which takes into account the recommendations by ERA, determine the type and scale of ancillary facilities, the distance between fuel stations which shall reflect current and future needs.

Among its recommendations, the ERA had proposed that fuel stations will have to be at least 1.5km apart. The current distance limit is 500 metres. ERA is also proposing, among other things, that the footprint is reduced from the current 3,000 to 2,000 square metres.

“The Planning Authority invites all interested parties to send in their submissions related to the proposed objectives. Representations are to be made in writing and addressed through email: FSSP_review@pa.org.mt Submissions must reach the Authority by not later than 17th July 2018.”

“The Authority currently has 11 pending applications, related to fuel service stations. To date, in total, the Authority received 30 applications for fuel service stations of which it approved four. The remaining applications were either withdrawn or refused,” the PA said.

For more information contact the Planning Authority Communications Office on +356 22902025.

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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