A SUBURB’S only petrol station has closed down indefinitely following an unapproved refit that resulted in a stoush between United Petroleum and the Brighton Council.

A refit and image transformation had been undertaken at the United station to bring the site up to Pie Face standard, but CEO David Szymczak said because of council bureaucracy the facility was forced to close down indefinitely on Thursday, resulting in the loss of six staff.

However, Brighton Council general manager James Dryburgh said the council did not close the petrol station — the Pie Face component of the facility was just not approved.

“I’m not aware of any reason they would need to close down,” he said.

“The existing operation remains approved, it’s just the new additional Pie Face components that aren’t.

“We made it clear that we don’t need them to close.”

He said illegal works on the new Pie Face addition had begun a few weeks ago.

“We didn’t infringe them, we’ve just been trying to work with them to get the permits in place,” he said.

Mr Dryburgh said on Thursday afternoon the council had not received the relevant forms or information required to assess and provide those permits.

“Whilst we’d love to assist them and open the Pie Face, we cannot legally let them without the permits in place. It’s state legislation,” he said.

Mr Szymczak said forms were submitted to the council last week but they had been told this week that handwritten forms were unacceptable.

“For two weeks we have been providing information and trying to satisfy the Brighton Council,” he said.

He said on Wednesday the council requested new forms and an exemption from TasWater, and on Thursday all outstanding forms and information had been provided.

The council was unable to undertake all the work needed to approve the refit due to the Easter break, as it closed at 4.45pm on Thursday and will not reopen until Wednesday morning.

Mr Szymczak said United had now shelved its 2021 program to roll out new Pie Face locations in Tasmania and will instead focus on projects in other states.

“Certainly, we will not make any capital investment in the Brighton Council area ever again,” he said.

Another United station is located in Bridgewater, about three minutes drive from the Gagebrook facility.

Extracted in full from: United petrol station closes after refit stoush with council | The Mercury

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