Sunday, February 25, 2024

VCAT overturns Horsham council call on new service station

A decision by Horsham Rural City Council to refuse a planning permit for a petrol station on Dooen Road has been overturned on appeal.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) announced its decision on Friday, allowing Spectrum Retail Group’s proposed 24-hour 7-Eleven service station to proceed on the corner of Baillie Street.

At a Meeting in May, Council refused the planning application on the grounds that it did not comply with the planning scheme provisions and would impact on the adjoining land uses and traffic movement in the precinct.

There were also 55 public objections to the proposal which cited traffic congestion concerns, 24-hour trade as well as the impact of noise, light and odours, Council said in a statement today.

“However VCAT decided that a service station in a residential zone was appropriate, particularly where it had good access to transport network and provided a benefit to the community,” the Council said.

It also found the proposal will “not significantly impact the current level of congestion and safety that prevails on the surrounding road network” and that the ‘additional traffic movements onto the road network will most likely occur outside of the peak times, when there is more than adequate capacity to accommodate additional vehicle movements”.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Kevin O’Brien said Council was disappointed with VCAT’s decision.

“We note that unfortunately the tribunal has also not accepted council’s request if its decision was set aside to limit the hours of operation finding ‘that there will not be unreasonable amenity impact on surrounding residents given the location is already affected acoustically by traffic noise at night’,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The tribunal has included a range of conditions including acoustic barriers, reduction in signage height, traffic management and landscaping.

“The decision, while disappointing for some neighbouring residents, has provided a transparent and independent process for all parties,” he said.

VCAT’s report on the decision is available to read here.

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