The Government has announced that it has stopped the approval of requests for the development of new petrol stations with immediate effect.
According to the communication made by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the decision was reached after the National Physical Planning Board (NPPB) carried out a public awareness campaign on the same, in the new cities where development of fuel stations in urban centres and along highways has “escalated”.
From 9th to 26th November 2020, the National Physical Planning Board embarked on a public awareness campaign in the cities of Arua, Gulu, Soroti, Mbale, Masaka, Mbarara and Hoima while the program to commence on the sensitization of leaders in the cities of Lira, Jinja and Fort Portal would be scheduled in order to streamline the smooth operations of Board with the linkages already created in other cities.
“During the Board’s interaction with the city leaders, the following issues were raised; high rise of emerging fuel stations along highways and urban centres, encroachment on wetlands, construction in road reserves, vending on city streets and encroachment of green/ open space within new cities,” the communiqué reads in part.
“In view of the above, the Board has directed KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority), City Clerks, CAOs (Chief Administrative Officers) and Municipal Town Clerks to halt approval of any development requests on wetlands, green spaces and gas stations with immediate effect,” read the post by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
The notice further reads thus: “They are also requested to furnish the Board with detailed reports on existing gas stations, open/green spaces within their jurisdiction by close of December 2020.”
Under the Physical Planning Act 2010 as amended, section 4 provides for the establishment of National Physical Planning Board (NPPB) as the highest body responsible for physical planning in Uganda.
The function of the Board in accordance with Section 5(e) of the same Act is to advise Government on matters relating to physical planning and urban development, including physical planning policies and standards.
The Act also provides for the need to coordinate physical planning related activities in Uganda to ensure orderly and sustainable development of human settlements in rural and urban areas.