A development application for a highway service centre in Honour Avenue Corowa on the Corowa side of the saleyards was approved, subject to conditions, at Federation Council’s monthly meeting on December 19.
The centre, at 475-479 Honour Avenue, includes subdivision of land, consolidation of lots, demolition of existing structures, construction of highway service centre, convenience store, dining amenities, refuelling services and signage.
“The development will result in the provision of a service centre located out of the town centre to service vehicles including trucks,” Federation Council’s Director Infrastructure and Environment Peter Gall said.
“The location near the saleyards is convenient and practical to service the needs of those using the saleyards as well as potentially capturing interstate travellers.”
Totalling 10,512sqm, the proposed overall $3.8 million project site includes freehold land purchased from Federation Council. The land is zoned B6 Enterprise Corridor and the proposal is permitted under the Corowa LEP 2012.
A key objective of the zone is to promote businesses along main roads and to encourage a mix of compatible uses.
Barker Group NSW Pty Ltd from Albury is the applicant. Managing Director Travis Barker attended the council meeting. He told The Free Press: “It’s a big development for Corowa. I thank council for its unanimous decision. It’s very pleasing. The planning people were very good to work with.
“I’m looking forward to the project being undertaken. We’ll start work in February and want to be opening, pumping gas, by September.
“We intend to try and engage local contractors during construction and there’d be 10 to 15 full-time/part-time staff.”
Mr Barker, 47, said the location is ideal for many reasons. “From Melbourne to Narrandera there’s no real truck stop. This is a good half-way stop for trucks. It’s good accommodation for cars and trucks, boats, horses and floats.
“It’s a truck stop, truckies dine, it’s a resting place. It’s not restricting other road users. It’s a great asset for the community.”
Mr Gall considered the development will not adversely affect the environment. “Of greatest concern in assessing the environmental impact was the traffic impact of the proposed entry to the site from Honour Avenue,” he said.
“The site is located within a business corridor zone. The location is ideal to service the needs of traffic coming from Victoria and traffic along the Riverina Highway. The site has existing services and surrounding properties such as the saleyards will benefit from this location.”
Mr Gall said there were some objections to the proposed development. One submission was received citing five concerns including entrance to the site.
Conditions of approval from the Roads & Maritime Services require measures to be put in place to ensure safe traffic to and from the site, including left turn exit only.
Acknowledging the large number of conditions attached to the big development’s approval, Mr Barker said there were no conditions which would cause concern, adding: “They’re the standard conditions.”
All Federation Council’s nine councillors endorsed the development proposal, with the motion put by Cr Fred Longmire and seconded by Cr David Longley.
Cr Longmire said after an on-site inspection and talking to saleyards’ agents he had no concern with the proposal. “They’re comfortable with it. If they’re comfortable, so am I,” he said.
Cr Norm Wales said he fully supports the proposal after an on-site inspection and properly understanding what the development will look like; likewise Cr Shaun Whitechurch who encouraged the council green light to any flashing lights for signage the applicant may seek for a modern service station - to which he was advised that council can always consider any such future request - and Cr Longley added: “I’m very impressed with the whole concept. It’s very well thought out and there are 20 jobs in it.”