Station bid fuels unrest

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Residents protested outside the development site last week.
Camera IconResidents protested outside the development site last week. Credit: Pierra Willix

The development of a 24-hour petrol station just metres from a Calista retirement village is being appealed after the City of Kwinana rejected the proposal earlier this year.

The development site on Calista Avenue was opened as a petrol station in 1998 but closed in 2005, and is vacant.

The owners of the site are seeking to re-establish the business as a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week station with unmanned automated fuel bowsers.

However, at its January meeting, the Kwinana council refused the application.

But the owners are now appealing the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal, which could overrule the council’s decision and approve the development.

Last week residents living near the development site staged a protest during a meeting held by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Banksia Park Retirement Village resident Jenny Binks said many residents were concerned the approval of the petrol station could negatively impact the quality of life for the elderly residents who live just metres away.

The distance between the petrol station and the fence line of some units is just 3.5m, with residents saying they are concerned about traffic, noise and pollution so close to their homes.

Many residents said the road already attracted hoons throughout the night, and they were worried the approval of a 24-hour station could attract vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.

Ms Binks said a protest was the only way many of the residents felt they could express their opposition.

“We believe the wrong thing is being done,” she said.

“We felt we had to do something and we don’t want to see the site developed, full stop.

“There are also so many other petrol stations close by, it’s just not needed.”

Another Banksia Park resident, John Clark, said although the site used to be a petrol station, it had not operated for 24 hours, and if it went ahead, he was concerned about the site being unattended through the night.

A mother of three young children who lives near the development site said she was concerned her eldest son’s asthma would be made worse by fumes if the station was approved.

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the proponent had not been able to demonstrate that the petrol station would be able to achieve an acceptable level of health and amenity for adjoining residential premises in relation to impacts such as noise, light, odour and vapour/fumes.

“The proposal does not meet the Environmental Protection Authority's Guidance Statement about separation distances between industrial and sensitive land uses,” she said.

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