An aerial view of the block at the corner of Toomey and Margaret streets in Yarraman where the new Liberty service station will be built (Graphic: TRC)

April 8, 2022

Toowoomba Regional Council has approved a development application to build a new service station in Yarraman, despite the project being opposed by at least one-quarter of the town.

The project was given the go-ahead at the Council’s Special Meeting on April 6, almost 13 months after the application was first lodged.

Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said the proposed development was on vacant land at the corner of Margaret and Toomey streets.

She said Council officers had advised a service station was a use that was consistent with Toowoomba’s Regional Planning Scheme 2012.

She also acknowledged officers said it had not been demonstrated the proposed development would primarily service the day-to-day needs of the local community.

“Despite this inconsistency, Council officers advised that the proposed service station was considered to achieve compliance with the relevant parts of the strategic framework of the Planning Scheme,” she said.

Cr O’Hara Sullivan reported that officers also advised the proposed development provided an appropriate supply of on-site vehicle parking spaces, and it had been demonstrated the development could be operated in a manner that would ensure off-site impacts on surrounding properties could be appropriately managed.

“On the basis of the above, Council officers recommended the proposed development be approved, subject to conditions.”

Cr O’Hara Sullivan noted that during the public notification period, the Council had received 10 submissions opposing the development, including a petition signed by 243 people.

The key issues raised in these submissions related to traffic safety and impacts, planning and the economic need for a service station at the site, off-site amenity impacts on nearby residential properties, and compatibility with the existing character of Yarraman.

The motion to accept the officers’ recommendation and approve the development was moved by Cr O’Hara Sullivan and seconded by Cr O’Shea, and was carried 6 to 3, with Crs McMahon, M. Taylor and Vonhoff opposed.

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