ORANGE City Council will negotiate shorter operating hours with the developer behind a 24-hour petrol station proposed for Molong Road following concerns from neighbours.

Councillors initially considered refusing the development application (DA) for the petrol station, two shops and car wash opposite Orange Veterinary Hospital, but instead deferred the matter.

Next-door neighbour Mauro D’Amico said he was now virtually trapped in his property because he would struggle to sell it.

“Nobody wants to live next door to a service station, it’s a terrible thing to have next door to you,” he said.

Josh Fitzgerald cited case studies where a petrol station in Queensland and a car wash in Victoria were closed down because they exceeded noise restrictions.

“We are the people who put you in this position and we hope you’re on the right side to help us, help our families,” he said.

Lynette Bullen said there were already four petrol stations within two kilometres of the development and it was impossible to guarantee there would not be a leak at the facility.

“Should I hear any noise within the walls, I will complain and it will be regular,” she said.

“To have this kind of repetitive noise for up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week is not something that I’m not looking forward to.”

Councillor Jeff Whitton opposed the DA because while the area had been zoned commercially for years, businesses had only operated during daylight hours until now.

“But we are now looking at a business, which let’s face it will make substantial noise, increase the traffic, will divert heavy vehicle traffic, potentially, from the Northern Distributor and that will affect the amenity,” he said.

Councillor Stephen Nugent thought the cumulative impact of the petrol station, light spillage, noise and 24-hour operations could also support refusal and questioned how consent conditions could meet community expectations.

“Are we talking about the general community or are talking about the members of the community who live in the immediate proximity of this development?” he said.

But councillor Glenn Taylor did not think the council could “vigorously defend” a refusal and wanted staff to negotiate operating hours.

“It will make you feel better tonight, but it won’t make the problem go away if it goes to the Land and Environment Court,” he said.

Extracted from Mail-Times.