Council backs redevelopment of Calder Freeway service station

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Elsie Lange

Macedon Ranges Council has voted in favor of a redevelopment application for a motorway service station in Carlsruhe, north of Woodend.

The application for the development of the service center at 371 Cobb and Co Road, assessed against the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme and taking into account five objections received during the advertisement, was deemed appropriate.

At a meeting on Wednesday, March 23, Statutory Planning Director Evert Grobbelaar presented the officer’s report, which approved the planning request.

He said officials believe the main issues relate to the sustainability of the proposed site for a motorway service centre, signage, immediate impacts and compliance with relevant provisions of the planning plan.

“Any future modification proposed to the dimensions of the signs indicated on the plans, will require the advice and [Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning] approval,” Mr. Grobbelaar said.

Councilor Rob Guthrie was the only one to oppose the request, who argued that it did not establish the need for a new highway service centre.

“The site is only a few miles from downtown Woodend and accessible to shoppers who usually travel to Woodend, there are businesses in Woodend already selling gasoline, convenience items and take-out food” , said Cr Guthrie.

“It would be very easy for residents to go to the highway service center instead.

“The availability of services in Woodend also undermines any argument supporting the need for duplicate motorway services in Carlsruhe, i.e. the need for a motorway service centre,” he said.

Councilors Janet Pearce, Mark Ridgeway, Annette Death, Bill West, Dominic Bonanno and Mayor Jennifer Anderson spoke in favor of the request.

Cr Pearce outlined the number of conditions the application was subject to and said it was important to note that this was a redevelopment of a current site.

“The design of this takes the landscaping into consideration, they are very mindful of amenities, lighting impacts and any objections that have been raised have been noted and effectively addressed by the applicant,” said Cr Pearce .

Cr Ridgeway said the redeveloped station would be located farther from existing homes in the area, reducing the impact of lighting.

“It also provides a local service to Carlsruhe Township, operating a milk bar, local store and coffee shop etc,” Dr Ridgeway said.

“It provides local jobs for young people especially in Kyneton and the surrounding area, it provides a 24 hour service, which is not provided by service stations in Kyneton or Woodend to my knowledge.

“It also provides a truck stop and gas station accessible from the highway, meaning trucks don’t have to drive into town to refuel,” he said.

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