A CONTROVERSIAL fuel facility in Heyfield was given the go ahead by Wellington Shire Council last week.

After careful consideration of all relevant planning issues and objections, council officers will shortly issue a notice of decision to grant a planning permit for an above ground fuel facility on industrial zoned land in Davis St.

The 24-hour truck refuelling station first sparked contention in July, when council received 22 community objections to the unmanned diesel facility, mainly relating to road safety, environmental concerns and amenity.

The service station will include a portable on-ground fuel storage tank and dispenser, and is proposed for a site adjacent to the roundabout connecting Davis St, Mary St, Tyson Rd and Licola Rd, above the Heyfield wetlands and directly opposite another petrol station and general store.

Wellington Shire Council general manager development John Websdale explained the fuel facility met planning standards.

“Central to the decision to approve the fuel facility is that it complies with all relevant planning controls and has been supported by relevant authorities, including VicRoads and the Environment Protection Authority,” Mr Websdale said.

“While we acknowledge community concerns about road safety in this location, VicRoads, as the relevant road authority, has not raised any issues with the proposal or the traffic impact assessment report prepared, which concluded that ‘the proposed traffic generation cannot be expected to impact on the safety or efficiency of Davis St’.”

The EPA has requested that conditions be placed on any planning permit issued to ensure that environmental matters are managed in accordance with current best practice and industry standards.

Council, via conditions of approval, will seek changes to the layout of the development to provide an increased buffer from existing housing and also require earth mounding and extensive landscaping to mitigate potential amenity impacts.

Mayor Carolyn Crossley said council very much appreciated the time taken by objectors to express concerns with this proposed facility.

“Whilst the application meets all relevant planning regulations, council officers have imposed these very stringent conditions as part of the approval process in response to the concerns raised,” Cr Crossley said.

All objectors to the proposal are being provided a copy of the decision.

There is an opportunity for an independent review to be sought at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal should objectors remain dissatisfied with the decision.

Extracted from Gippsland Times