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MT 22 January 2020 Midweek

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24 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 22 JANUARY 2020 NEWS JAMES DEBONO A petrol station in Luqa belonging to the Bilom group has been granted a permit to erect a 110sq.m snack bar. The petrol station was originally approved in 2018 on 3,000 sqm of agricultural land along Qormi Road, next to the Water Services Corporation. The proposed policy regulating the re- location of fuel stations in areas outside the development zones, which is still awaiting final approval, expressly bans the development of "catering or retail es- tablishments". The only additional struc- tures foreseen in the new policy are those related to "vehicle maintenance services". ATMs and vending machines are also al- lowed. The present policy approved in 2015 is more vague, allowing ancillary structures which "complement" fuel stations. As approved in 2018 the petrol station already included a car shop, a tyre service and VRT garage, ATM and car wash fa- cilities. The application, submitted after the approval of the fuel station, envisages changing part of the area earmarked for car accessories, to a food and drinks es- tablishment. But the case officer objected to the pro- posal, insisting that "while the present policy allows facilities which complement fuel stations in terms of economic sus- tainability, such a use is not considered as acceptable." But the Planning Commission chaired by Elizabeth Ellul overruled the case of- ficer, noting that it has already issued a similar permit for a snack bars in ODZ petrol stations in Burmarrad and Zejtun. The case officers had objected to both permits. The commission also took in consideration the fact the fuel station in- cludes a charging station for electric ve- hicles. Luqa petrol station gets snack bar permit A hooded man conducted a hold-up in a shop in Sliema and ran off with cash on Monday evening. The incident took place at around 9pm in a shop on Triq Imrabat in Sliema. Police said that the man had his face covered with a hand- kerchief and was armed with a knife. He asked the employees inside, a woman of 56 and a 36-year-old man, to hand him money. As soon as he was given the cash, he ran off. Nobody was injured. The police informed duty magis- trate Caroline Farrugia Frendo and she launched an inquiry. Police investigations continue. Hooded man holds up Sliema shop and runs off with cash

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