Jordy Atkinson, 11 November 2015

A TREMONT petrol station that has sat disused for more than four years looks set to pump fuel again.

The site, on the corner of Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd and Hughes St, operated as a service station from 1993 until March, 2011.

It is unclear why the service station closed but there was an armed robbery at the site the same month it closed.

The bowsers were taken out but the driveway and structures remain and it still looks like a petrol station.

Boronia’s John Eagles, 58, said he bought the vacant site about a year ago in a bid to “rejuvenate” it and restore much-needed services to the area.

There are only three other towns in the hills that have petrol stations — Silvan, Tecoma and Upwey.

Mr Eagles told last night’s Yarra Ranges Council meeting: “I hope to be able to rejuvenate this site as a general store and service station as an asset to the area and keep it in the condition it is in”.

A planning scheme amendment is required to allow the re-establishment of the service station to go ahead as part of the site is in a green-wedge zone.

When the site’s permit was first issued in 1991, zoning was different and the site was two separate lots.

The council officer’s report said while a petrol station would normally be prohibited in a green-wedge zone, the site had previously been used for that purpose and the owner did not plan to expand beyond the existing buildings.

The service station would only be able to open between 7am and 10pm daily.

The report also said the business would provide a needed commodity in “an area that had seen a progressive reduction” in such outlets.

Cr Noel Cliff said reopening the station made “good sense” as it was “needed on the hill”.

“There’s no petrol there, absolutely none at all,” Cr Cliff said.

“The locals will like it and they’ll like having a little general store on top of the mountain so you don’t have to go down to the bottom of Ferntree Gully.

“(The station) never should have closed … now is a good chance to get it open again.”

Cr Mike Clarke said the site was “totally wasted” and urged councillors to back Mr Eagles’ plans.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne will now decide if the amendment will go ahead and the proposed amendment will be put out for public consultation.

Extracted in full from the Herald Sun.