Local residents oppose plans for new servo

Angry Bacchus Marsh residents are fighting plans for the construction of a 24/7 Coles Express Service Station.

With five existing petrol stations throughout Bacchus Marsh, residents say they strongly object to the development, which will be located on the southeast corner of Gell and Bennett Streets.

Gell street resident, Peter Richards said the development of the petrol station would allow for a number of concerning issues including increased traffic congestion, noise levels, lighting and signage visibility from their property, increased crime rate and well-acknowledged OH&S conditions.

“A question the planning people should ask is how does this 24/7 petrol station location add to the beauty, character or economy of our town,” he said.

“There is not a single benefit it will provide to our community. It will totally destroy cultural identity and neighbourhood character”.

Bacchus Marsh residents, Ron and Anna Smethurst said with current traffic congestion already a major problem in the area; the development of another service was beyond comprehendible (Letter to the Editor, The Moorabool News 02/04/15).

“Although the land is zoned commercial, the location is totally unsuitable due to traffic congestion, intense on street parking, B double petrol tankers turning into narrow single lane streets shared by buses, deliveries to supermarkets, school traffic, general traffic and pedestrians,” they said.

“It will also have a detrimental impact on the local amenity in respect to odours, lighting, noise and hours of operation”.

A planning permit for the ‘Development and Use of a Service Station and Display of Associated Signage’ was granted on May 20, however Mr and Mrs Smethurst said there was limited notice.

“Only 7 residents/businesses within 30 metres from the site were notified of the proposed development”.

“Signage was placed on the site facing Bennett Street from February 24 to March 11, however due to works on the side and restricted pedestrian access due to the closure of the pedestrian walkway in Bennett St, nearby residents and the community were not aware of this proposal, thus denying the opportunity to comment”.

Town planner from Sphere Planning, representing Abacus Property Solutions (Bacchus Marsh Village Shopping Centre), Jarrah Lukjanov said the necessity for the service station was driven by commercial demand.

“Coles Express consider there is ample demand to justify the proposed service station,” he said.

First appeared in The Moorabool News, June 11 2015

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