A business intending to establish a new petrol station in Pakenham has taken Cardinia Shire Council to VCAT for failing to act on its permit application.
The council failed to make a decision on Onorc’s application requesting a permit for the construction of a Liberty Oil service station and convenience store adjacent to Cardinia Waters Village on Racecourse Road in the 60-day required time frame.
Council development and compliance services manager Debbie Tyson said the decision was delayed due to “ongoing concerns” with the road layout and “negotiations between the applicant and VicRoads” over the convenience restaurant proposal.
VicRoads proposed some changes to Onorc’s initial plans in December, moving the entry further away from the Village to provide space for a deceleration lane, allowing cars to safely pull into the petrol station.
Last year, more than 400 nearby residents objected to the planning proposal for the petrol station that would be located beside the Village’s only entrance and exit.
Cardinia Waters resident Barry Sorrell said he believed the council had “dodged a bullet” as they would no longer need to take responsibility over the final decision.
Another resident, Valerie West, said the new plans made the proposal “all the more concerning”.
“I think it got shelved because of the council election,” Ms West said.
“It’s a lot more concerning now because VicRoads has drawn up plans for a deceleration lane.
“What with all of the people coming in and out of the service station, it is going to be chaos. People will drive through the petrol station to cut in front of traffic.
“I can see accidents waiting to happen.”
She questioned the demand for another petrol station in the area, given the recent opening of a 7 Eleven about 700 metres away on the same road.
Mr Sorrell also had concerns over the environmental impacts of a petrol station in such vicinity to the Village.
He told the Gazette he contacted the Environment Protection Authority on multiple occasions but did not receive a response.
“We are on a waterway. The whole area was a swamp,” Mr Sorrell said.
“We have growling grass frogs, which are endangered species, and water birds as well.
“Should petrol leak, it will go straight into the water system. I just feel like the risk is too high.”
The VCAT hearing will be on Wednesday 15 March.
Onorc failed to respond to the Gazette’s attempts at obtaining comment.
Retirement Communities Australia, the body which oversees Cardinia Waters Village, also declined to provide comment on the matter.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.