Residents have won “round one” in a battle against a South Australian fuel giant after the company’s plans for a $2.8m petrol station in Adelaide’s south were unanimously rejected.

Marion Council says 63 people attended a meeting on September 2 where X Convenience failed to secure planning approval for a 12 pump petrol station, car wash, shop and drive-through restaurant at 373 Diagonal Road, Sturt.

The council’s assessment panel went against council staff advice and refused the project on grounds including it was inconsistent with the desired character of the zone and a “pedestrian friendly environment”.

The project also failed to meet design and appearance benchmarks, including landscaping, a summary of the refusal says.

A picture taken in 2008 of the Fresh Choice restaurant on Diagonal Road, Sturt, site of the proposed X Convenience petrol station complex.
A picture taken in 2008 of the Fresh Choice restaurant on Diagonal Road, Sturt, site of the proposed X Convenience petrol station complex.

Neighbours of the proposed project, which would have replaced the existing Fresh Choice Restaurant, have waged a public campaign against the development arguing it would increase traffic congestion and was not suited for a residential area.

Mark Linn, who started a Facebook page No More Servos and lives next door the restaurant, was among 11 people who made representations to the panel requesting the project be refused.

“I was very surprised,” he said of the result. “Big oil usually has all the power and the little guys get screwed over time and time again.

“We’re pretty sure they (X Convenience) will appeal but at least we have won round one.

But he has implored X Convenience’s owners Andrash to accept the decision and “take their bat and ball and go somewhere else”.

“The people in this area do not want it, I would’ve spoken to at least 1000 people about this and only there of them have said it’s a good idea,” he said.

He accepted that Andrash could resubmit fresh plans and appeal the decision but Mr Linn said that they must realised that the community is “not going to sit and take it, we’re going to continue to fight it.”

Marion Council Mayor Kris Hanna said the decision was a huge win for the community who were concerned about the impact of the development.

“There was a lot of concern about the disturbance it would cause to residents and the development being too big for what is basically a residential area,” Mr Hanna said.

“Council doesn’t stand in the way of redevelopment of the site but it just has to be appropriate development.

“It’s not necessarily the end of the story and council and the community will just need to consider their position if indeed there is an appeal to the court or a further development application.”

The Advertiser has sought comment from Andrash.

The company recently secured approval for new petrol stations at Paradise and Newton in Adelaide’s north east.

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