New BP plan must address concerns
Shire officers have met BP Australia to discuss toning down its proposal for a 24-hour service station on the southern outskirts of Cowaramup.
Shire of Augusta-Margaret River sustainable development director Dale Putland told the Times planners would wait to see the amended application before deciding if the proposal required further advertising before going before councillors for a vote.
“The Shire’s sustainable development team shared all comments made during the public submission period and requested the applicant address as ( many of those concerns) as they can,” Dr Putland said. “The applicant indicated that they are willing to look at appearance, screening, hours of operation, access and size.
“However, they also made it clear that BP will only let them go so far with the changes.”
The Shire would only know the extent of revisions once the proposal was resubmitted.
Residents have opposed plans for the BP station and associated Wild Bean Cafe, saying the development would be an eyesore and unfairly hinder existing Cowaramup traders.
Protest group Cowaramup Says No members attended this week’s council meeting to question members about the proposal.
Group convenor Anne Parker said the BP application was beyond the size and scope expected by residents and was not in tune with the intention of the Cowaramup Village Strategy document, which informs growth around the town centre.
“Based on the council’s failure to consider environment and heritage regarding the (winter diversion) cycle track, we are not confident that they can make hard decisions,” she said. “The proponents have indicated that they are only prepared to go so far in revising their submission.
“For ratepayers and residents of Augusta-Margaret River Shire to have confidence in the council, the feedback of the local community who will be impacted by the decision must be paramount in decision-making.”
Shire president Ian Earl said councillors were hamstrung by the proposal because refusing it would lose the limited control the Shire had to modify the development.
He said arguments that the 24hour BP would be needed for truck drivers were incorrect because trucks would refuel at depots where fuel was cheaper.
Graffiti sprayed on Bussell Highway this week arguing against the BP station raised the ire of longterm residents, who said the message should be communicated through official channels.
BP Australia declined to comment.
A rally will be held at Pioneer Park on February 19, from 10am to noon, to voice opposition.
Cowaramup Says No protesters say the fuel station plan will test the council’s engagement.