PLANS TO expand the BP Service Station at Chinderah were denied by Tweed Shire Councillors on Thursday, October 6, following five years of a back and forward exchange between BP Australia and Tweed Shire Council that had reached a critical point.
Council’s Planning Team has previously called for the $4.5 million service station expansion to be “refused” on the grounds that BP has failed to address key issues such as impacts to surrounding homes, noise concerns and the removal of koala habitats.
There were growing lists of other concerns including BP’s use of Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads guidelines when assessing traffic conditions and not the required NSW Roads and Maritime Services guidelines – being that Chinderah is in the state of NSW. Councillors subsequently decided to refuse the application which is located at 1 Ozone Street, Chinderah (pictured).
Alternatively, Councillors could have given the BP service station more time to address areas of concern or to workshop ways to improve the site’s application, however several extensions were already approved and Councillors unanimously voted to deny the development application.
The development application to expand the BP Service Station was first submitted in November 2010 and is seeking two new truck refueling bays as well as 30 (originally 36) new parking bays for trucks, according to council planning documents.
Since that time Tweed Shire Councillors had been actively seeking further information from the applicant to address specific concerns including the ecological, traffic and noise impacts of the proposal.
Council planners had recommended the development be refused by planners in 2012 and 2014 due to BP’s subsidiary failing to address the site-impact concerns, but on both occasions Councillors deferred a decision to allow the company more time to respond.
In August this year Councillors called for a further report that offered greater detail as well as a recommendation from council planning staff.
However, the latest plans have again failed to address ecological, traffic and noise impacts despite council staff going above and beyond to accommodate the site with time. It is no surprise therefore that the recommendation is for refusal.
Its noise report also falls short according to Tweed Shire Council Planning Director Vince Connell who said the application had ‘failed to acknowledge’ homes closer to the site and ‘fails to address noise generated by the braking of trucks on the adjoining motorway when entering the site’.In his report, Mr Connell said the BP Service Station had “expended an extensive amount of Tweed Shire Council staff resources” on it “without any immediate prospect of resolving the outstanding matter”.
BP Australia was contacted for comment and media representative told The Weekly BP wanted to wait for council’s decision before issuing a statement.
YOUR THOUGHTS: Do you believe the BP Service Station at Chinderah should have been given more time to address council concerns in order to proceed with the expansion? Send your thoughts and letters to firstname.lastname@example.org