VINCENT council’s planning experts have sided with locals concerned about a proposed Angove Street petrol station, recommending the state’s Development Assessment Panel reject the proposal.
Petrol station franchise On the Run wants to build a 24-hour station at the site of the old mechanic’s shop at the corner of Angove and Woodville Streets, with the application saying it’ll be an “attractive, high quality built form which enhances the appearance of the subject site” and adds amenity and services to the neighbourhood.
But local opposition has been near-unanimous.
They’re chiefly concerned about the possible health risks from petrol fumes along with the cafe strip’s ambiance being wrecked by cars lining up for 24-7 fuel (Voice, November 19, 2022).
The mechanic did have petrol bowsers on site, but they were rarely used. The new station would have eight pumps, which the planning report estimates will serve 68 cars per hour at peak times.
When the plan was first advertised last year 485 letters were mailed out within a 200 metre radius of the site.
A mammoth 235 submissions were received, far higher than the usual 5 per cent response rate, and only seven were in support of the station. Along with the opposing letters there was a 326-signature petition organised by the “Stop the Station” North Perth group.
On the Run’s offer to move the station a metre further away from nearby homes didn’t mollify anyone and a second round of advertising saw another 245 submissions lodged against the plans (and 188 of those were fresh submitters who hadn’t spoken up last time around). Only one person supported the station in the second round, saying it’d be convenient to be able to fill up locally.
“The major issues haven’t been addressed,” Stop the Station convener Don Barba said of the revised plans that were re-advertised in March (Voice, March 25, 2023).
“There’s still going to be an effect on the locals‚Ä¶ the businesses, the houses there,” plus the school that’s about 20 metres away from the laneway access to the station.
Vincent’s planners are recommending the DAP refuse the station due to the “adverse impact” on local amenity, especially given it adjoins residences to the south.
On the Run’s hired experts reckon the fumes can be adequately contained, but the council planners aren’t convinced. Their report says “it has not been demonstrated the proposal would not have an adverse risk to human health or impact on the community.
“The Environmental Impact Assessment has not demonstrated the health implications of exposure to emissions including benzene at sensitive receivers which include the adjoining residents, children at the North Perth Primary School, or the elderly at Casson House.”
It’d also present a “predominantly blank facade” that wouldn’t do anything to keep Angove Street lively, and the report also raises traffic concerns and a grab-bag of other problems.
The DAP is due to vote on the proposal at its May 3 meeting.
That’s just two weeks before Vincent council’s May meeting where councillors are expected to approve a hastily-drafted policy that’d ban petrol stations next to homes.
Even though that rule hasn’t been finalised and would still need state government approval before being set in stone, the DAP is supposed to consider the policy’s intent when they’re voting.