A service station could be built on land previously earmarked for residential development after the City of Greater Geelong failed to response to a building permit in time.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found that Lakeside Banquet and Convention Centre is exempt from providing an application for review of its proposed service station to the council.

This will mean that the company is one step closer to putting a service station, convenience store and convenience restaurant in the residential area alongside Barwon Heads Road.

Tribunal member Picha Djohan noted that the council had failed to decide on the planning permit application within the required period.

Ms Djohan found that the planning proposal “generally accords” with the Horseshoe Bend Precinct Structure Plan, which was designed to cement the residential status of the Armstrong Creek area.

“Nothing in the plan speaks of detailed planning for a specific retail use beyond identification of the maximum floor space to be made available and the co-location with, or relationship with, community facilities and other community infrastructure.

“Accordingly … the permit application is exempt from notice requirements,” Ms Djohan wrote in the latest judgment.

Armstrong Creek's Horseshoe Bend Precinct Structure Plan. Source: VCAT.

Armstrong Creek’s Horseshoe Bend Precinct Structure Plan. Source: VCAT.

Despite council submissions, the Lakeside Banquet and Convention Centre were successful in arguing that non-residential uses can be found to be “generally in accordance” with the Armstrong Creek plan.

The original “vision” behind the Horseshoe Bend Precinct Structure Plan provides for housing types and densities in an urban structure plan on a “walkable neighbourhood with access to public transport”, in addition to “mixed use” activity centres for the community.

According to Ms Djohan, “nothing (in the plan) … speaks of an intention to preclude non-residential uses within those areas designated for residential uses”.

Although the overall service station and convenience store proposal is for “undoubtedly non-residential” use, the tribunal found that a planning permit application can be made on the land.

“It is not a prohibited use in that zone because the proposal satisfies the conditions for the use of land as a service station, convenience shop and convenience restaurant,” Ms Djohan decided.

Extracted in full form: Armstrong Creek area set to get service station, despite council | Geelong Advertiser