"We don't need it": Opposition to servo sees council U-turn
OPPOSITION from Tannum Sands residents to a Coles Express petrol station on Booth Ave has Gladstone Regional Council backpedalling on the rules of its brand new planning scheme.
Ultimately it's a move that benefits the local community, but it does beg the question whether the new scheme is adequately providing for the region's needs.
Unlike the Dawson Hwy site, this development application, by MPR Services Property Pty Ltd, does meet current zoning requirements.
That means it could be automatically approved by council officers without any public notification or discussion around the council table.
Residents are not able to make proper submissions for or against the application and residents have no "statutory appeal rights".
But a story in this newspaper (October 23), three days after the development application was lodged, clicked Tannum Sands residents into go-mode.
Ever since, they have made enough noise that councillors have tossed the rule book aside and confirmed they will be the ones to make the final decision on the Coles Express project.
More fuel news:
Tannum man Daniel Keen lives opposite the site but was told he had to pay to access any documents about the proposal. He refused to do this, and ended up driving to Gladstone to view them in person.
Neighbour and garden centre owner Paul Ford paid the $75 to get the application emailed to him.
"There is a lot of through-flow traffic at the moment anyway without a petrol station," Daniel Keen said.
"It's the access to Tannum pub and Coles. We don't need a petrol station there."
"I thought (the council) would at least tell adjoining neighbours that a petrol station could be going in next door," Paul Ford said.
"I don't mind if it goes ahead or not but I would like to make sure (it) doesn't impact on my property."
Regional strategy portfolio spokesperson Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett said councillors were responding to these concerns, and had stepped in.
"Councillors have been made aware of significant opposition from residents to the petrol station, and now the application will come to council who will make the final decision," Cr Burnett said.
"Planning officers can approve it and councillors can still refuse it." It's a one-off safeguard though that's not provided for under the town planning scheme.
But the scheme, that came into effect on October 12, was new and could be modified, Cr Burnett said. "Maybe a shop is not necessarily a petrol station," he said.
"A petrol station has significant traffic movement and more community concerns than a normal shop."