United service station due to be built along Kidman Way

Griffith is set to become the new home of a United Petroleum service station after the city’s council approved a development application for a station and retail premises along Kidman Way.

The approval came during Tuesday night’s regular meeting of Griffith City Council, which will see a service station, retail premises and a vehicle repair station constructed along Kidman Way opposite Bunnings Warehouse.

United will be joined by food-chain Pie Face at the service station, with the retail premises set to house three tenants with around 700 square metres of floor space.

The application did not pass without objection, with neighbours of the proposed site opposing the application due to the development lacking an access road to their property off Kidman Way.

One of the objectors Judith Young spoke to council about the application and said while they had attempted to negotiate with the developers, they had not made any progress.

“We made a formal offer for that [alternate access] to the developer and we’re told they’re not prepared at all to negotiate,” Mrs Young said.

“That leaves us in a fairly untenable position and we still believe that our block will be sterilized.

“We’re asking councillors to protect our rights and not approve something that impacts negatively on a surrounding land owner.”

However, Mrs Young’s statement was rejected by a representative for the development group, planning consultant Robert Milner, who said the request was a “degree of ransom” and if a request for an access road was granted, the development would pull out of the city.

“We wouldn’t say we haven’t been prepared to negotiate, we just haven’t been able to accede to the request that’s been made,” Mr Milner said.

“The one thing that is certain [if an access road request was granted] … is that we would not be developing or investing in Griffith because the project will not work – simple as that.

“It’s a decision to abandon that opportunity is a decision to accede to the Young’s request.”

Mr Milner said the development had been worked on with council for over a year and while the issue of access had become apparent in the last six months, it was “not either fair or orderly development” to allow access through the property.

“We would no longer control the access to our lands from Kidman Way,” Mr Milner said.

Council moved temporarily into closed council to examine legal correspondence which had been received on Tuesday afternoon before their final discussions regarding the project.

Councillor Glen Andreazza said while he accepted the request, it was up to the parties involved to negotiate.

“It’s not us as councils role to interfere in asking two parties to come together and negotiate,” Cr Andreazza said.

“There’s no reason why they can’t negotiate [and] if those negotiations are fruitful in the future that they could come back and amend their DA.

“But at this stage I feel that we have to go with what’s printed in front of us and move forward.”

The application was approved unanimously by council.


Extracted from Area News