Negotiations regarding a proposed service station and convenience store in Yandina are coming to a conclusion in the Planning and Environment Court.
Residents and businesses have opposed the unwelcome development on the corner of Farrell and Stevens streets – right in the heart of the heritage and character precinct of our town – for two years.
The community was delighted when the development application was refused by Council.
But the developer, Pearl Investments, appealed the decision in the Planning and Environment Court. Now negotiations between the Council and the developer seem to be approaching reluctant agreement.
The plan layout and design have been substantially altered; and Council sources report that it is now likely a conditional approval will be issued — despite the possibility of fuel tankers being re-routed along narrow suburban streets and past a childcare centre.
Yandina and District Community Association (YADCA) president Marie Reeve said the location of the proposed service station in the very heart of a character area with a pedestrian focus; plus the difficulty of safely manoeuvering fuel tankers into and out of the site, were the very reasons for widespread community opposition when the development application was originally lodged with Council in 2021.
“Those are still our objections,” she said. Bill Gissane, Business Yandina President agreed. “It is the wrong business, in the wrong place.
“Business Yandina supports new business of course, but it has to be the right business for the town,” he said.
“If something is not good for business then it’s not good for the community; and if it’s not good for the community it’s not good for business. This development is not good for the community.”
The original plan proposed that fuel tankers would turn left into the service station from Farrell Street and exit left into Stevens Street. This was rejected as unsafe. However, the new plan may see tankers driving up Stevens and turning left into Buckle Street, then left again at the roundabout to go down Old Gympie Road. “This is no better,” said Marie.
“Has the Council traffic engineer visited this site? If so, how could they conclude that a tanker can go up Stevens, stop at the incline at the top, then turn left into Buckle? That manoeuvre would force the truck to swing right across Buckle, surely. How is that safe?” she queried.
YADCA and Business Yandina believe that resident safety and amenity will be sacrificed if the service station, with a delivery route through residential areas, is approved in the Planning and Environment Court.
Such a decision would be inconsistent with the Service Station Code, which requires that:
- “A service station does not adversely impact upon the amenity of the surrounding local area.
- A service station is provided with the safe and convenient access to the road network.”
YADCA believes that, while amendments have been made to the plans, it is very hard to make a service station with its wide expanse of concrete, large advertising signs and high traffic volumes comply with the Yandina Local Plan Code which aims to see Stevens Street enhanced as an attractive and pedestrian friendly main street.
Nor would it comply with the Heritage and character overlay code where buildings in Yandina’s character area are typically “continuous small-scale commercial buildings built to the street alignment with a narrow frontage and a predominance of street parapets of various shapes together with post-supported street awnings….”
“The town’s character and the community’s safety and amenity should not be disregarded in favour of an ill-conceived development application – even one that is tweaked and groomed to appear to barely meet the irreducible minimum standards set out in the Planning Scheme,” Marie said.
These photos were taken in Stevens Street (possible fuel tanker route).