RAGLAN residents are up in arms over a development application for a two-storey, 48-room motel, petrol station, convenience store, seven shops and a 111-unit self-storage facility currently before Bathurst Regional Council.
The $6.5 million development application is for the redevelopment of the 1.74 hectare (4.29 acre) former Windy Hill Nursery site, on the corner of the Great Western Highway and Nile Street.
Under the proposal, the service centre and some of the shops would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to service the travelling public.
A pub is also listed as a permissible shop in the service centre’s approved shops.
Residents have also hit out at council for not providing adequate time for residents to lodge submissions of objection against the development.
Nile Street residents Rohan Moppett and his wife Kelly are among those who have lodged a submission with council.
In their four-page submission, Mr Moppett said the development, if approved, would “greatly take away the village atmosphere of our street and to a certain extent, Raglan as a whole”.
He cited international research about the negative health effects of living so close to a petrol station.
“Children living within the vicinity of fuel stations have four times the risk of developing leukaemia due to high benzene levels. These chemicals have also been found to raise the risks of brain, lung and kidney damage,” his detailed letter said.
Mr Moppett said he and his wife were also concerned about noise, water and soil pollution, along with increased traffic.
According to the DA, traffic in Nile Street and on the highway near the centre will increase by up to 325 vehicles per hour in the afternoon peak period.
The development’s traffic impacts are also a concern for Nile Street resident Katrina Embleton, whose home will be across the road from the proposed petrol station.
“We’ve seen dozens of accidents and we’ve been in one of them [at this intersection],” she said.
“Out driveway is directly opposite this, so the traffic is going to be huge.”
A resident for 11 years, Ms Embleton is also concerned the service centre will decrease the value of her family home.
Ms Embleton said council originally only gave one week for objections to be lodged, before a two-day extension was granted.
Nearby Eugenie Street resident of 30 years Janette Kelly, who has made a submission against the development, said she did not receive notification of the proposal.
“I think they’re trying to push it through; it just seems sketchy,” she said.
The plans are on show, and objectors have until 4pm today to voice their concerns.
Submissions should be in writing and can be mailed to council, dropped off at the council chambers or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.