It’s Now Mandatory For New Fuel Stations To Seek Approvals From Ministry Of Lands & Urban Dev’t

It’s Now Mandatory For New Fuel Stations To Seek Approvals From Ministry Of Lands & Urban Dev’t

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By Spy Uganda

Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development, Hon. Judith Nabakooba Nalule says there is a growing concern over the increasing number of fuel stations, particularly in urban areas, more so in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.

“As you are also aware that urban areas, especially those in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area are currently faced with challenges of; overcrowding, rain water floods, proliferation of litter and poor garbage management, encroachment on wetlands, deforestation, encroachment open spaces, encroachment road reserves and other protected areas, etc.These have resulted in severe wastage of vital land, visual intrusion and pollution, development of slums, high cost of doing business as well as loss of natural resources,” says Nabakooba. 

Remember that the Physical Planning Act, 2010 (as amended) declared the entire Country a planning area. The Act also establishes the National Physical Planning Board (NPPB) as the highest body responsible for ensuring that the Country attains orderly spatial development as well as a clean and healthy livable environment for every citizen.

However, Nabakooba says in some areas there are over ten (10) fuel stations within a distance of one kilometer. “By any standards ten (10) or so fuel stations in one kilometer are too many. This raises health, environmental andsafety concerns, and results into some form of spatial nuisance. Some of the fuel stations are located in congested commercial and residential areas. To make matters worse, some have been established in total disregard of the existing legal and land use framework.”

She adds that the above stations were established without clear coordination mechanism-amongst government institutions in approval processes, supervision and enforcement of compliance to minimum standards and conditions on establishment and development of fuel stations.

Nabakooba says that against the above stated background, the National Physical Planning Board together with her Ministry came up with the Physical Planning (Planning Conditions for Location of Fuel Stations) regulations 2022 which were launched yesterday.

“The development of the Physical Planning (Planning Conditions for Location of Fuel Stations) regulations 2022 which we have  launched was consultative and participatory with various stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Private Sector,” says Nabakooba.

Among the conditions set include; 1.Development permission must be applied for by the developer from the relevant Local Government.

2.The developer applies for the building permit and for an environment and Social impact assessment done by NEMA. Thereafter the developer shall apply for a petroleum facility construction permit.

“I therefore implore all stakeholders in establishment of fuel stations (more especially the physical planning committees at various levels) to earnestly consider the use of these regulations whenever a fuel station is to be constructed,” says Nabakooba adding, 

“At present, there are fuel stations located in very compromising and unsafe places and endanger the lives and property of the people. We shall work with the developers to find suitable options and alternatives. There are those that were built against the Boards’ directive (after the Board had halted approval and development of new fuel stations). The law will take its course against such developments undertaken with total disregard and impunity.”

It should be noted that, a person who contravenes these the above regulations commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of 960,0000 nine hundred sixty thousand or imprisonment of up-to 2yrs.

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