A policy prohibiting ODZ fuel stations should be implemented at once

A policy prohibiting ODZ fuel stations should be implemented at once

Eleven NGOs are indignant at the Planning Authority’s failure to revise the current fuel stations policy and at comments indicating that, when revised, the new policy might still allow ODZ fuel stations.

The lengthy saga concerning the highly controversial 2015 Fuel Service Stations Policy seems destined to continue as one year and two months have passed since the review was promised by the authorities and yet the public still has no answer as to why the policy revision has not been seen to. It is also disconcerting that Planning Minister Ian Borg stated that, after all, the revised policy might still allow ODZ fuel stations.

Despite repeated calls by citizens, NGOs and the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to remove the possibility of ODZ fuel stations, the authorities seem to be adamant on maintaining it. The ERA’s recommendations, directly requested by the Ministry for the Environment, clearly stated that: “ODZ sites shall not be potential candidate sites for new or relocated fuel stations.

”We are in agreement with moving fuel stations away from urban centres, but not on ODZ, since alternative, non-greenfield sites can be found.

The current policy allows for the development of both new and relocated fuel stations on up to 3,000m² of agricultural and natural land designated as ODZ. There are 14 applications for ODZ fuel stations, with four having been accepted already and the others still being processed, covering a total area equal to five times the Floriana Granaries. Additionally, the two applications for ODZ fuel stations withdrawn on the 26th February by the applicants may be re-submitted at a later stage. In fact, as this review continues to extend beyond any reasonable deadline, applications for such projects continue to be submitted, jeopardising the country’s rapidly-decreasing ODZ land.

We strongly believe that every passing day is crucial to the safeguarding of our islands from predatory commercial interests that seek to exploit natural and agricultural land for their own profit, and that the current fuel stations policy is extremely detrimental. A revised fuel stations policy, one which prohibits ODZ fuel stations, needs to be implemented at once.

Signed by the following NGOs:

Moviment Graffitti, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Nature Trust Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Bicycle Advocacy Group, Isles of the Left, Ramblers Association, Birdlife Malta and Żminijietna


Policy li tiprojbixxi pompi tal-petrol ODZ jeħtieġ li tiġi mplimentata minnufiħ

Ħdax-il NGO huma rrabbjati għall-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar (PA) għax għadha ma rrevedietx il-policy eżistenti dwar il-pompi tal-petrol u għal kummenti li jindikaw li, meta tiġi reveduta, il-policy l-ġdida xorta se tippermetti pompi tal-petrol ODZ.

Din is-saga dwar il-Fuel Service Stations Policy tidher li hija destinata li tkompli hekk kif għaddew sena u xahrejn minn meta ġie mwiegħed mill-awtoritajiet li se tkun riveduta, imma s’issa l-pubbliku għad m’għandux risposta għala din ir-reviżjoni tal-policy ma saritx. Huwa wkoll ta’ tħassib li l-Ministru tal-Ippjanar Ian Borg qal li, wara kollox, meta tkun riveduta l-policy, din xorta jista’ jkun li tibqa’ tippermetti pompi tal-petrol ODZ. Minkejja sejħiet kontinwi minn ċittadini, NGOs u l-Awtorità tal-Ambjent u r-Riżorsi (ERA) biex titneħħa l-possibiltà ta’ pompi tal-petrol ODZ, l-awtoritajiet jidhru determinati li jżommuha. Ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet tal-ERA, mitluba direttament mill-Ministeru tal-Ambjent, jiddikjaraw b’mod ċar li: “Siti ODZ m’għandhomx ikunu meqjusa bħala siti potenzjali għal pompi tal-petrol ġodda jew rilokati”.

Aħna naqblu li pompi tal-petrol għandhom jitneħħew minn ċentri urbani u jitqegħdu x’imkien ieħor, imma mhux f’art ODZ, peress li jistgħu jinsabu siti alternattivi fejn m’hemmx ħdura.

Il-policy eżistenti tippermetti l-iżvilupp kemm ta’ pompi tal-petrol ġodda kif ukoll ta’ dawk rilokati fuq art agrikola u naturali klassifikata bħala ODZ, b’kobor li jasal sa 3,000 metru kwadru. Hemm 14-il applikazzjoni għal pompi tal-petrol ODZ, b’erbgħa minnhom diġa approvati u l-oħrajn li għadhom qed jiġu pproċessati, li b’kollox ikopru biċċa art li fiha daqs ħames darbiet il-Fosos tal-Furjana. Barra minn hekk, iż-żewġ applikazzjonijiet għal pompi tal-petrol ODZ li ġew irtirati mill-applikanti fis-26 ta’ Frar jistgħu jerġgħu jiġu sottomessi aktar tard. Fil-fatt, waqt li din ir-reviżjoni tkompli ttawwal lil hinn minn kull żmien raġonevoli, applikazzjonijiet għal proġetti bħal dawn jibqgħu deħlin, bil-konsegwenza li l-art ODZ, li dejjem qed tiċkien, tkompli tiġi mhedda.

Aħna nemmnu bis-sħiħ li kull jum li jgħaddi huwa kruċjali biex il-gżejjer tagħna jkunu protetti minn interessi kummerċjali predatorji li moħħhom biex jisfruttaw art agrikola u naturali għall-benefiċċju tagħhom, u l-policy eżistenti tal-pompi tal-petrol qed tkun ta’ ħsara kbira. Policy reveduta tal-pompi tal-petrol, waħda li tiprojbixxi pompi tal-petrol ODZ, jeħtieġ li tkun implimentata minnufih.

Iffirmata minn dawn l-NGOs:

Moviment Graffitti, Din l-Art Helwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Nature Trust Malta, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Bicycle Advocacy Group, Isles of the Left, Ramblers Association, Birdlife Malta u Żminijietna