April, 29, 2019

Following months of intense consultation with various entities and stakeholders, the Planning Authority has published for public consultation, a new policy framework for fuel stations. This new proposed policy will guide the future evaluation of planning applications related only to the relocation of existing fuel stations which are currently having an adverse impact on urban areas.

Once approved, this proposed policy framework will repeal the existing Fuel Service Stations Policy which was approved in April 2015.

Relocated fuel stations must be sited in designated industrial areas, small and medium enterprise sites, Areas of Containment or Open Storage sites identified in the Open Storage Policy. Other areas designated for development in the local plan excluding Residential Areas and Residential Priority Areas, and Urban Conservation Areas, deemed safe by the Authorities will also be considered.

The Authority may also consider areas within ODZ which already have a permitted/legally commitment on site and which are not related to agriculture and/or animal husbandry. Such sites will only be considered if a wider environmental benefit is achieved and the development is compatible with the context of the area. In such cases, the total footprint shall not exceed the existing permitted/legally committed footprint and not exceed 1000m².

Sites already occupied by permitted fuel stations will be allowed to upgrade. Should a permitted fuel station be in an ODZ, upgrading works may not exceed the existing footprint or 1000sq.m, whichever is the larger. The upgrades that will be allowed shall be limited to statutory and regulatory obligations, ancillary facilities and/or the introduction of dispensing facilities for alternative fuels such as CNG, LPG and electric charging stations. No footprint limit will apply if the permitted fuel station is within the development boundary subject to neighborhood safety and compatibility.

Existing fuel stations which, following consultations with Transport Malta and MRA, are not deemed to create issues of amenity, safety or transport shall not be eligible for relocation. Existing fuel stations located partially or fully in ODZ shall also not be eligible for relocation.

The redevelopment and change of use of existing fuel stations located partially or fully in ODZ shall not be considered.

The height of a proposed fuel station shall not exceed 7metres.  

The new policy is also proposing that any fuel station permitted by this new policy document which is not used for its permitted purpose for a period of three consecutive years shall be demolished at the expense of the owner, and the site has to return to the agricultural state. 

The Planning Authority invites all interested parties to send in their submissions related to the proposed policy framework. Representations are to be made in writing and sent to postal address: Planning Authority, Director of Planning, St Francis Ravelin, Floriana FRN1234 or through email: [email protected] The proposed Fuel Stations Policy may be viewed here

Submissions must reach the Authority by not later than 14th June 2019.