Sta­tion on hold

It could be months be­fore a de­ter­mi­na­tion is made on plans for a con­tro­ver­sial petrol sta­tion on Al­bany’s Ch­ester Pass Road roundabout.

Albany Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Talitha Wolfe and Tim Ed­munds

It could be months be­fore a de­ci­sion is made on whether a con­tro­ver­sial ser­vice sta­tion at Al­bany’s Ch­ester Pass Road roundabout will be granted ap­proval, after a plan­ning hear­ing closed yes­ter­day.

The mat­ter has been heard be­fore the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal in re­cent days after an ap­peal was lodged by pro­po­nents Peter Webb and As­so­ciates after the City of Al­bany coun­cil re­jected the $2.4 mil­lion pro­posal at its Fe­bru­ary meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lors re­jected the pro­posal amid safety con­cerns. Al­bany Mayor Den­nis Welling­ton said he re­mained con­fi­dent in the rea­son for block­ing the pro­posal.

“We are very com­fort­able with the strength of our ar­gu­ment — the fact is it is a dif­fi­cult roundabout and to add more in-points where traf­fic are com­ing in and out, I think will make it more dif­fi­cult,” he said.

“It is al­ready classed as the sec­ond worst in re­gional West­ern Aus­tralia, so we feel that adding more ac­cess points and di­gress points to it will make it worse.

“That’s what we are try­ing to get the tri­bunal to un­der­stand.”

The hear­ing on the con­tro­ver­sial devel­op­ment started on Wed­nes­day and was set to end on Fri­day.

In­stead, the mat­ter con­tin­ued and was set to be fi­nalised yes­ter­day. Mr Welling­ton said it had been a te­dious process.

“One of the rea­sons that it is tak­ing us so long is that even the traf­fic ex­perts can’t agree on the safety quo­tient of it — some are say­ing that it’s high and some are say­ing that it’s low,” he said.

“They are dis­agree­ing on the level of risk in terms of the in­crease of ac­ci­dents com­ing in and out of the road lead­ing onto the roundabout.”

The pro­posal was pre­vi­ously ob­jected by Main Roads, which raised con­cerns the devel­op­ment would in­crease traf­fic and con­flict.

If the SAT over­turns the City’s de­ci­sion, Mr Welling­ton said the City would con­sider ap­peal­ing to the Supreme Court.

The sub­ject site was va­cant for more than a decade un­til it was bought and the devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was lodged late last year.

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