During a press conference in front of the Planning Authority offices, Carmel Cacopardo, AD Chairperson said that the Fuel Station Policy should not be seen on its own. It has to be viewed as an integral part of the general Transport Policy which it should complement.
“Two specific aspects of current transport policy which should be emphasised are the need to decrease cars from our roads and the policy of electrification, details in respect of which are expected shortly.”
“The objective of decreasing cars from our roads as well as the policy of electrification should point towards more stringent conditions for fuel service stations. A reduction of fuel stations, or at least a non-increase would be of help in reaching the said objectives. On the other hand, an increase in fuel service stations would hinder the objective of decreasing cars and the implementation of the policy of electrification.”
“AD points towards initiatives already taken in hand by the private sector in e-car sharing, which has been in use for some months. Such initiatives while contributing to a sustainable mobility actually assist in reducing cars from our roads as car-sharing would signify that you use a car while not owning one.”
“The proposal for a new Fuel Station Policy is marginally better than the one it will be replacing, as it proposes that agricultural land will not be taken up for development. However, it leaves huge loopholes in that it would consider for development into a Fuel Service Station existing permitted ODZ structures not linked to agriculture. This is unacceptable. All existing permitted ODZ structures should be used for the permitted purpose and when such a use is no longer possible, the land in question should be returned to its original state. The proposed Fuel Station Policy limits the footprint of these potential ODZ fuel stations to 1000 square metres.”
“Currently it is permissible for Fuel Service Stations to be constructed in Designated Industrial Areas, Small and Medium Enterprise sites, Areas of Containment, Open Storage Sites and other areas designated for development subject to a maximum site coverage of 3000 square metres. This limit has now been removed and the sky is the limit in such cases.”
“AD considers that there is no justification for large fuel stations, and that a maximum size of 1000 square metres, including area for landscaping, should be more than enough where there is justification for relocation.”
Referring to the recent statements by the Environment Minister in Parliament’s Environment Committee in favour of dumping construction waste into the sea along the coast for land reclamation, Carmel Cacopardo said that Jose Herrera has no idea what he is talking about, is talking nonsense and being ridiculous. “People appreciate the beauty of our seas, and it is ironic that the Minister responsible for the environment is being so ridiculous in his statements and insults the public’s intelligence by making such shallow and stupid statements in favour of land reclamation. He should resign, since it is clear that he is incompetent in environmental matters.”