Published in the Warrandyte Diary, May 2014
THE Warrandyte community is divided over whether Manningham council should allow a 24-hour petrol station to be built in Yarra St.
Under the proposal for 1-5 Yarra Street, a 250 metre square convenience store would be constructed along with six fuel pumps.
It would also include 13 car parking spaces and require the removal of six trees.
Diary readers voiced concerns on social media about the site lying on a flood zone, along with other complaints that a petrol station on the northern side of the roundabout at Yarra St and Harris Gully Rd would be “visually intrusive” and inappropriate.
“We live up off Brackenbury Street near the cemetery. There is a reasonable amount of road noise but at least it’s just traffic flowing. The noise increase due to cars, motorbikes, trucks stopping and starting would be ridiculous,” Jodi Philpott said.
“I’m not against progress. However, I think our community is more than adequately serviced by the fuel stations in Eltham, Doncaster, Park Orchards and South Warrandyte. It’s unnecessary, and the last thing Warrandyte needs is more traffic congestion problems,” Daisy Gleeson said.
But residents who disagree say Warrandyte locals should be able to fill up their cars with petrol without having to travel out of the suburb.
“It offers goods and services just like any other business … The industry is heavily regulated and I am not convinced the arguments over environment, wildlife, fire risk are fully backed up by comments thus far,” Mr Adair commented on the Diary’s Facebook page.
It’s the second time residents have voiced opposition to a proposed service station on the main road, with United Petroleum withdrawing an application to develop its existing site at 44-46 Yarra Street late last year after allegedly illegal construction work was carried out at the site followed by criticism from nearby residents.
However, Warrandyte Community Association president, Dick Davies, says there is considerable support for a petrol station – and more for the current proposal than the previous United proposal.
According to the Association’s online poll of 150 people, 55 percent of respondents were against the proposal while 44 percent were for it.
Manningham council chief executive, Joe Carbone, said council had received more than 10 objections to the proposal, which he says will be considered when assessing the application.
He expects council will consider the application at the council meeting in June, while those who submitted objections would be invited to a meeting before then.
Among those who submitted an objection was the Warrandyte Community Association.
WCA president Dick Davies said the association raised a number of concerns in its objection, including the removal of trees and the potential for confusion and gridlock near the roundabout if customers were pulling in and out of the site.
The association is also concerned about the lack of signage included in advertised plans for the proposal.
“In the diagram it looks like everything has been cleaned out and it doesn’t show any advertising or signage that you would usually associate with a service station. If there is signage, what will it look like?” Mr Davies said.
“They want to take out six major trees along the road. We’re not sure which will go but it will make a huge hole in the landscape.”
“We’re not against petrol station in Warrandyte – in fact, there is a considerable degree of support for a petrol station in Warrandyte. But we want something that fits in with the character of the place, not something that stands out.”
In last year’s traffic impact report prepared for the owner of the site, Platinum King Management, as many as 1600 vehicles pass through the roundabout during the afternoon peak period between 5.15pm and 6.15pm.
One of the architects commissioned to design the proposed building, Mark Allison, told the Diary they would read the objections and take residents’ concerns on board.
“We’ve been looking into this for four years, talking to quite a lot of bodies like Melbourne Water and VicRoads to make sure the building complies with any requirements. So we’ve done an enormous amount of homework before even deciding to lodge an application,” Mr Allison said.