United Petroleum has slammed the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and the Flinders Community Association for “hijacking” the approval process for a new service station in Flinders.

United Petroleum last week withdrew its VCAT appeal for a 24-hour service station at the corner of Wood and Cook streets in Flinders.

United Petroleum national town planner Christopher Hatcher said the company withdrew its proposal after opposition from the council and the association.

“Ultimately we are very disappointed in the approval process from the council and the FCA and we felt that the process was hijacked by the ‘weekend population’ of Flinders,” he said.

With the nearest other petrol station more than 11km away, Mr Hatcher insisted the company had received support for the petrol station from residents.

“We felt that the design of our proposed service station was sympathetic to the town of Flinders and its design was vastly different to that of a metro-setting site,” he said.

“The proposal would have resulted in discounted fuel, green fuel and local employment.

“The conduct of the council and the FCA during the planning process has been to the detriment of the wider Flinders community.”

United Petroleum submitted its proposal for the 24-hour service station with six bowsers and a 2.7 metre-long illuminated sign to the council in July last year.

Residents lodged their opposition, claiming it did not fit in with the council’s design overlays for Flinders or the State Government’s vision for the peninsula.

In October, VicRoads similarly rejected the proposal.

Councillor Tim Wood said VicRoads’ decision cemented the case against the proposal and that United blaming the council and the FCA for its decision to withdraw the VCAT appeal was “rubbish”.

FCA vice-president Ranald Macdonald similarly contested United’s claim there was support for the station from residents.

“At a town hall meeting held recently of over 100 concerned Flinders locals, and after the representative of United left, a show of hands indicated that all but I think two were opposed to the plans as presented,” he said.