A petrol station in the heart of Mgarr still awaits a relocation to an ODZ site despite the Planning Authority’s (PA) approval of the move seven years ago.
Back in 2011, the PA had approved the relocation of a petrol station from the Mgarr village square to an ODZ location along the same road where Halmann Vellsix – owned by Nazzareno Vella – are proposing a brand new petrol station and a cafeteria.
The site of the approved petrol station approved in 2011 has already been excavated but works on the site have stopped and an application to renew the original permit presented in December 2016 has been pending for the past year.
Halmann Vellsix applied for a petrol station 1,600 metres away along the same road in August 2017.
The 2011 permit had been issued approved on condition that it would replace the one at Mgarr Square, opposite the church.
The owner has also promised to close down a scrap yard close to the existing petrol station and restore the site to agricultural use. The scrap yard had been the subject of several enforcement notices.
While environmentalists had opposed the approval of the service station on 2,406 square metres of agricultural land, the Mgarr local council had supported the relocation, insisting the main square was not the proper place for the petrol station.
But as the site of the approved petrol station remains a gaping hole, the owner still operates his petrol pump in the village square.
In August Halmann Vellsix presented an application on a site where a petrol station was already refused by the PA in 2009.
If approved the new fuel station will be located approximately 1,600 meters away from the site where the PA relocated the village square fuel station. The proposed petrol station is also nearly 2,000 meters away from the J Micallef petrol station.
The new PA policy only bans a new petrol station within 500 meters of an existing fuel station in the same direction of traffic which is not the case in the present application. So legally the two petrol stations can well co-exist on the same road even if this may raise feasibility issues.
The site of the proposed petrol station located opposite the Valle Verde farm outlet and a short distance from a quarry on the same side of the road, is being earmarked for the development of a huge fuel station, auto parts shop, car wash and cafeteria over a 6,793 square metre site.