A DEVELOPMENT panel has deferred a proposal for a $2.1 million service station at the former Northlands Tavern site over health and traffic concerns.

The Metro Inner-North Joint Development Assessment Panel unanimously voted last week to defer for 10 weeks Planning Solution’s application for a 7-Eleven next to Northlands Shopping Centre at the corner of Main and Amelia streets.

The development, which includes 35 parking bays, was recommended for refusal due to concerns about the gas emissions raised by the Department of Health.

Render of the proposed service station in Balcatta.
Render of the proposed service station in Balcatta. Credit: Planning Solutions

In a letter to City chief executive Stuart Jardine, Department of Health environmental health executive director Michael Lindsay said the applicant had not provided an assessment of gaseous emissions for the proposed site.

“The DoH is concerned with ongoing (chronic) community exposure to benzene vapours, which can be elevated above background levels for some distance from service stations,” he said.

However, Planning Solutions director Ben Doyle said the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations would be the agency responsible to monitor, not the Department of Health.

Planning Solutions associate Josh Watson said the proposed service station would have a recovery system which would capture vapours from refuelling tankers at a 95 per cent efficiency rate.

“(Odour and gas assessment) is very much an outdated (set of) requirements that applies to service stations,” he said.

Northlands Tavern site being cleared.
Northlands Tavern site being cleared. Credit: Justin Bianchini

City of Stirling planning officer Giovanna Lumbaca said despite the applicant’s experience with a high number of service stations, the health concerns were important.

“From the City’s perspective, we take the Department of Health concerns very seriously. We are not public health experts,” she said.

Other reasons for refusal included the bright colours of the 7-Eleven branding being incompatible with the surroundings and safety issues.

Stirling senior traffic engineer Russell Jackson said vehicle access was too narrow for a service station next to a busy shopping centre.

“When they (trucks) turn in, they have to swing out to the wrong part of the lane,” he said.

“Other fuel stations only have fuel traffic. This has the car parking traffic going in and out as well.”

Transcore senior traffic and transport engineer Vladimir Baltic said the 12.5m trucks and 19m fuel tankers would be to deliver goods during low traffic activity in the area.

Mr Baltic said it was common practice for waste and delivery trucks to use the full width of crossovers to enter and exit shopping centres.

“Due to the requirement to deliver fresh products, the site operates a need to schedule deliveries late in the evening,” he said.

“In order to avoid any potential conflict, all deliveries to the convenience store will be scheduled to after 9pm.”

Ms Lumbaca said the signage, including eight roof signs, three monolith signs and three ground-based signs were “too much”.

“If this was an industrial site, we wouldn’t be having this conversation; it’s the fact that you have residential dwellings opposite,” she said.

“From the City’s perspective, it’s too much, too tall and the colours are too much as well in the residential context.”

The Northlands Tavern and nearby Muzz Buzz drive-thru were cleared ahead of the proposed development last month.

Extracted in full from: https://www.perthnow.com.au/community-news/stirling-times/panel-defers-decision-on-proposed-service-station-in-balcatta-c-1421542