The Mepa Board turned down two applications in the Outside Development Zones of Qormi and Rabat that sought planning permission to regularize the illegal extension of a Petrol Station and a horse training track with stables respectively. These two decisions continue to highlight the Board’s consistent message that Outside Development Zones will be protected from any illegal or proposed development that fall short of its policies.
The Board turned down the sanctioning of extension works to the petrol station because the illegalities on site were resulting in the further intensification of urbanization in an outside development zone. The illegal works at GAF Petrol Station, situated in Luqa Road, Qormi included the construction of a first floor over and above the height permitted for the petrol station, the increase in the building footprint, the construction of structures near the relocated car wash, an underlying basement and the reduction in size of the underground water reservoir.
In 2008, the Authority had issued an enforcement notice on this site and sealed off access to the entrance given that the applicant willfully decided to go beyond the approved planning permission attained in 2006 for the construction of a petrol station.
The Board also refused planning permission for the illegal development of a horse training track measuring approximately 117 square meters and a hay store located in an outside development zone at Triq tal-Lunzjata, limits of Rabat and the construction of five stables with paddocks. MEPA had issued an enforcement notice on all the illegal works carried out on site in 2007.
The Board also re-confirmed its decision to assign a high level of protection, through the planning tool of scheduling, to the archeological sites that fall within the Antiquities List and other properties for which the land-owners requested MEPA to reconsider its decision. These included the sites at Ħaġra ta’ Sansuna, the Cave at tal-Maqgħad, Calypso Cave , Għajn Klieb, the Catacombs of tal-Liebru and a number of properties in Sliema.