A seven-week wait for departmental legal advice has stalled a service station DA.
Plans for a new service centre on Yass Valley Way, adjacent to the existing service centre, about six kilometres northwest of Yass, were deferred by Yass Valley Council at its June 2017 meeting.
The council resolved to defer the development application (DA) pending the outcome of a planning proposal to amend the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013 to include a ‘highway service centre’ at the site, which is zoned for industrial purposes.
The planning proposal to amend the LEP, which has been submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a gateway determination, came after council sought legal advice about land-use permissibility that indicated the development is prohibited in the zone.
At the June meeting, director of planning Chris Berry said council sought legal advice to ensure “any application complies with the various guidelines from the department of planning and council”.
The proposal includes a service centre, food and drink outlets and car and truck workshops. Council’s legal advice concludes that the development is characterised as a ‘highway service centre’, which is prohibited in the zone.
We have a special zoning that allows our service centre to be used on our own land. The major issue we see with the adjoining land, where the application is pertinent to, does not enjoy a similar zoning that supports that particular use.
“The planning proposal is a proposal to amend the LEP. To consider the application, our legal advice says the application is prohibited, so to allow that application to be considered, that proposal for amendment is needed,” Mr Berry said.
Paul Morgan from Farrell Heidelberg, who owns the existing service centre, reiterated the prohibited use of the industrial zone as a service station and called for consistency around land-use regulations.
“We have a special zoning that allows our service centre to be used on our own land. The major issue we see with the adjoining land, where the application is pertinent to, does not enjoy a similar zoning that supports that particular use,” Mr Morgan said.
”We object the DA as we are required to abide by the planning regulations within our own zone. Council should not support this is application,” he said.
Rohan Arnold, applicant and one of the directors of Yass Industrial Park, said they sought their own legal advice that shows permissibility of use.
He also said objections to the development will mean less fuel competition.
“It’s very apparent the objector have only one objective – to limit competition. They do not want the oligopoly in Yass disrupted.”
“It will also be the anchor and stimulus for Yass Industrial Park,” he said.
Council is now awaiting a gateway determination letter from the department about whether the land use is allowable in the LEP.
Public exhibition of the DA would follow pending the outcome.