THE developers of a $2.5 million United brand petrol station in Leongatha have pledged to launch a price war against the existing fuel outlets if the South Gippsland Shire Council approves their application for a planning permit at this Wednesday’s council meeting.
Answering a question from South Gippsland Shire Councillor Don Hill, at a public presentation session last week, the principal of planning consultancy firm ProUrban, Tim Retrot, said local reports about a lack of competition in the fuel market was one of the main motivations for the investors.
“Leongatha has a problem with expensive petrol,” Cr Hill said.
“It’s regularly 15c to 20c higher than it is elsewhere. What I want to know, is this a different firm from the ones already operating in the area?” he asked.
“We’ve come here due to exactly those reports,” Mr Retrot of ProUrban said.
Cr McEwen asked about the hours of operation.
“It’s 24 hours,” said Mr Retrot, but he stressed that fuel deliveries would only be made between 7am and 7pm in deference to the adjoining residential area.
Mr Retrot also said afterwards, if approved, the petrol station could be up and running before the end of 2017 and would provide six local jobs, to staff the 24/7 opening times.
The application, for the use of land for the development of a service station at 1 Shingler Street, Leongatha, on the corner of the South Gippsland Highway (presently a disused car yard), will be one of the final matters considered by the new council in 2016 at its meeting on Wednesday, December 14 at 2pm.
Councillors will be asked to vote on a motion to approve the project, subject to a long list of conditions relating to design, hours when deliveries can be made and external lighting, despite the fact that there have been seven objections, a petition and submission lodged.
The objections primarily relate to adverse amenity impacts from light intrusion, increased traffic, traffic safety, increased noise, air pollution from fumes/vapour, increased litter, hours of operation and the close proximity to adjacent residential uses.
Asked by Cr Alyson Skinner about the potential for fumes and noise, especially when fuel deliveries were being made, Mr Retrot said United’s trucks were fitted with state-of-the-art vapour recovery systems.
“When the fuel is going in, the vapour coming out is captured and pumped back into the tanker. It’s best practice and all United tankers are equipped with that technology.”
He said the site was an ideal one for a petrol station, being located on a Category 1 highway, on a corner and in an area already zoned for the purpose.