If fuel station owners don’t use their new allocated land within three years, the space will need to be reinstated for agriculture, the Planning Authority’s new fuel stations policy states.
Demolishing the site and changing its use will be done at the owner’s expense.
This guideline is one of the PA’s proposals forming part of a new policy framework on the re-location and building of new fuel stations.
The document, which is set for public consultation, outlines that the re-located fuel stations can be placed in designated areas including industrial zones or small to medium sized enterprise locations. This excludes residential or Urban Conservation Areas.
Regarding building in ODZ areas, PA says that it would ‘consider areas within ODZ which already have a permitted/legally commitment on site and which are not related to agriculture and/or animal husbandry.’ It stresses that this must not go beyond the agreed footprint of 1000m2.
For those that already exist within or close to ODZ land, would not be eligible for being relocated or their change of use granted, PA states.
The launch of the public consultation comes only weeks after a protest by Moviment Graffitti, urging the authorities to publish its full station policy.
The NGO said at the time that it been almost two years since the PA recognized but did not publish an updated Fuel Service Policy which would prevent ODZ land being used to build Fuel stations.
Following a siege outside the Planning Authority building in Floriana, Transport Minister Ian Borg announced that the new policy would be up for public scrutiny by the end of April.