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Doris Robinson - 29 April 2014

Doris Robinson made the following comments in Non Agenda Public forum at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 29/04/2014.

Petition: to the Mayor and Councillors of Eurobodalla Shire Council

Subject of Petition: Caltex service station at the junction of the Kings and Princes Highway, DA 306/09

Action Requested: Limit the business hours of this service station so that it does not operate 24 hours a day.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity today to present this petition from ratepayers and residents of the Shire. Its subject is the Caltex service station being built at the junction of the Kings and Princes Highways, and our request is that Council limit the business hours of this service station so that it does not operate 24 hours a day.

On 20 January this year, Warren Sharpe, then acting General Manager, informed me that, 'There are no restrictions as to the hours of operation.'[1] This is a very local issue and people feel strongly about it because they will be adversely affected.

The petition is signed by 60 residents, the majority of whom live in the streets most affected by this development: they are the roads off Old Punt Road – that's Wray Street and Penthouse Place; Bay Ridge, Peninsula Drive, Lord Place and Lincoln Crescent. Residents are a mix of retired people and working families. I live in Peninsula Drive, opposite the service station.

I'd like to remind you where this development is so that you fully understand its impact on those residents in its vicinity.

The service station is positioned:

  • At a busy intersection of the Kings and Princes Highways where the two highways meet at a roundabout.
  • Entrance into the service station for vehicles going north is from the Princes Highway. The second entry and only exit are on Old Punt Road.
  • I understand that the zoning for this site in 2008/9 was 2T Tourism which allowed service stations. In 2012 the zoning was changed to R3, Medium Density Residential which doesn't allow them. But the DA could not be rescinded.[2]

Aspects of the service station is positioned:

  • The service station is installing an AdBlue bowser.[3] AdBlue is a special additive to reduce truck emissions. There are few of these bowsers in NSW so trucks will stop to top-up. Inevitably, they will create noise throughout the night as they enter and exit the service station.
  • Access and exit points have been 'designated to accommodate the turning path requirements of a 19.0m semi-trailer.[4] These are large trucks and their engine and braking noise will affect residents close by at the bottom of Penthouse Drive especially at night.

What 24 hour trading means to residents

  1. In 2009, Council listed some conditions for the developer to 'minimise any potential adverse environmental, social or economic impacts of the proposed development' during construction [5] – but not its subsequent operation. So residents will suffer the environmental and social results of its operation.
  2. Those results will greatly impact this residential area with continuous noise and traffic and extra street lighting. They will have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of residents, will interfere with our sleep and diminish the quiet enjoyment of our homes, and may well lower the value of our properties.
  3. This development is huge and will require extensive lighting spilling out onto both highways and affecting residents particularly in Bay Ridge and Peninsula Drive. The original DA included a landscaping plan.  But since the service station is set right on the edge of the hill overlooking the Princes Highway, no amount of plantings will hide those lights.
  4. Residents along Old Punt Road, Wray Street and Penthouse Place will be badly affected and not only by noisy trucks. The increased traffic particularly at holidays, will be a safety hazard to residents and tourists alike, including many cyclists and walkers who enjoy that area. And there will be no respite because traffic has increased enormously since the traffic study carried out in 2008/9.
  5. I've mentioned trucks using the AdBlue bowser. But there are already plenty of trucks travelling in the early hours of the morning (from 2am) and they will use the 24 hours service, as will tradesmen who drive in the early morning to work in Canberra and other towns.
  6. With no railway line to the South Coast, all our freight comes by truck, and with an increasing population, this traffic can only increase. And has certainly increased since 2008/9 when the development was approved.
  7. Council stated in September 2009 [6]: 'The service station is not deemed to increase traffic in the locality but to service the existing traffic volume travelling through this location.' This was an optimistic guess – we know that residents will drive there for petrol when they're too busy to find other venues. It's human nature. Moreover, the traffic study that was carried out at that time is out of date. Traffic has increased.

In summary

Many residents of North Batemans Bay have strong concerns about this development. We wish to be listened to and our concerns taken into consideration, and not be ignored by Council.

  • We fear the results of this development with its extra noise, intrusive lighting and the increased congestion on our roads.
  • We do not want it to operate 24 hours, concerned at its effect on our wellbeing and enjoyment of our homes.
  • There is already a 24 hour service station on the Princes Highway at the south end of Batemans Bay near the Industrial Area. Is there a need for another one?
  • We request that Council review the hours of operation for the wellbeing of its citizens. A good example is the Shell Station on Beach Road which trades from 6am-10pm, which will give us time for a good night's undisturbed sleep.

Thank you. 

[1] Letter from Warren Sharpe, Acting General Manager, 20 January 2014

[2] Conversation 28 April 2014 with a Council planning department officer.  

[3] Condition 11, Modification of Development Consent No. 306/09 for erection of a service station, 12 December 2014. This bowser will be located at the Truck Canopy fuelling area.   

[4] Clause 32a, Modification of Development Consent No. 306/09 for erection of a service station, 12 December 2012. Access and exit points have been 'designed to accommodate the turning path requirements of a 19.0m semi –trailer.

[5] Notice to the applicant of determination of a Development Application for erection of a service station, 8 September 2009, page 1.

[6] Development Assessment Sheet (draft) of 8 September 2009, page 6.

Council's Reply

A response was sent directly to Ms Robinson.