Servo plans headed to VCAT

By Ewen McRae

The applicant behind a proposed service station and restaurant at the Gisborne Road exit of the Western Highway has warned the project operators will “walk” if an agreement can’t be reached with Moorabool council over operating hours.
The application is headed to a compulsory conference at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) after the council last week endorsed advocating for a revised planning application for the project.
The original application for the Bacchus Marsh site included two restaurants, however councillors want to remove one of the restaurants, reduce the opening hours on weekends, and add provisions for an electric vehicle charging station.
A spokesperson for the applicant told the council meeting that while they were open to removing one restaurant, the reduction in opening hours would make the business unviable.
“The alternative proposal is for 7am to 12 midnight trading on Saturday and Sundays,” the spokesman said.

“If that could be amended to 6am to midnight, as is the case Monday to Friday, that would be acceptable. Without that minor amendment of one hour, the project operators walk.
“There is a demonstrated need for customers to buy fuel at 6am, so without that amended opening time the proposal cannot proceed.”
The applicant said more than 50 jobs could be created as part of the development.
A number of community objections to the project were heard at the council meeting, citing concerns about safety and traffic congestion.
Meanwhile, Melton council has approved plans for a new petrol station near Rockbank.
The council last week endorsed the station at the Leakes Road exit of the Western Highway, near the Woodlea estate.

It will include a convenience store, playground, and four fuel bowsers.

The council’s planning services manager Bob Baggio said there were eight objections from residents to the station, and he was confident concerns over noise, traffic and potential disruptions to a residential area could be allayed.

“We believe that, given it’s a fairly discrete development, it’s separated from the residential properties, and there’s no direct access to the station from the residential properties, we consider the potential for detriment to the amenity of the surrounding residents to be fairly low,” Mr Baggio said