Moviment Graffitti has just released a short video clip (above) to highlight the Planning Authority’s (PA) failure to review the Fuel Service Station Policy. This policy incentivizes massive commercial complexes, under the guise of fuel stations, on agricultural and natural land designated as ODZ.
A year has passed from the Environment’s Minister declaration that the 2015 Fuel Service Station Policy is wrong and needs to be revised. In the meantime, Moviment Graffitti and other organisations have carried out many actions, including two direct actions at the PA’s premises, to demand the immediate revision of this policy. Over 1,100 individuals have also sent an email to the authorities expressing their outrage at this policy and at the PA’s inaction in changing it. This pre-written email can still be sent by following this link.
It is baffling that the PA is taking such a ridiculously long time to carry out a simple change to the policy. Although the Environment and Resource Authority (ERA) completed its review in April, stating that the revised policy should not allow fuel stations on ODZ, the PA has not yet published for public consultation a draft of the revised policy. The PA’s Executive Chairperson, Johann Buttigieg, stated in November that a draft of the reviewed policy was ready to be issued for public consultation. However, yet another month has passed and the policy remains unpublished.
New applications for ODZ fuel stations continue to be submitted under this current, defective, policy. There are 16 applications for ODZ fuel stations, with four having been accepted already and the others still being processed, covering a total area equal to six times the Floriana Granaries.
It is clear that the PA is taking everyone for a ride by dragging its feet and keeping the current policy in place, thus allowing a few developers to continue enriching themselves by building on ODZ, the movement said
Moviment Graffitti is also concerned that the PA might use the public consultation process as a way to continuing to postpone the revision of the policy by, for example, taking a very long time to come up with a final version of the revised policy after the consultation period closes. The PA should not only publish the reviewed policy for consultation immediately, but it should also establish a date for the entry into force of the final, revised, policy.
Original article found on The Malta Independent