IT'S official: a new takeaway offering is coming to Bathurst.
Bathurst Regional Council has approved plans to build a new highway service centre on Sydney Road, Kelso, which would include a Caltex petrol station with convenience store and a drive-through Carl's Jr restaurant.
Carl's Jr is an American fast-food chain, founded in Los Angeles in 1941, that has grown to have thousands of outlets around the world, including 26 in Australia, three of which are in NSW.
There also plans to open a restaurant in Dubbo in the first half of 2021.
The development application (DA) was considered by Bathurst council on Wednesday and approved without discussion, a surprise given the discussion other food developments, like Taco Bell, have generated.
Councillor Alex Christian told the Western Advocate that the location, combined with the opportunity to bring new business to Kelso, likely made this decision easier.
"I think everybody realises it's a very good thing. Again, it's new business that's coming to town and Bathurst is a very attractive option for these big companies and it's jobs, jobs, jobs," he said.
Planning the service centre has been a long process.
The DA was submitted in March of 2020, but the developers actually met with council about six months earlier to discuss the plans.
The statement of environmental effects (SoEE) noted a pre-lodgement meeting on September 25, 2019.
"As a result of those meetings, a number of modifications were made to the final design of the development and a number of specialist studies have been undertaken to support the application," it said.
After the DA was lodged, further changes had to be made to the plans before Transport for NSW (TfNSW) would issue concurrence.
TfNSW had a list of concerns, which included the lack of queuing capacity for the drive-through, the lack of onsite car parking, the lack of heavy vehicle parking spaces, the impact of vehicles slowing on the highway to enter the site, and heavy vehicle manoeuvring within the site.
Concurrence was issued, although this is contingent upon the construction of an auxiliary left (short) turn treatment on Sydney Road.
Although the plans were given the green light by council, it will be a while before the service centre opens.
The SoEE flagged a construction time of 18 months.
"The development will be constructed in one continuous stage likely to take up to 18 months from start to completion," it said.
The document also says the development will create jobs for Kelso residents.
"The development will provide significant employment opportunities during construction, with local construction companies used where available," it said.
"During operation, at completion, there will be approximately 18 employees on site per shift, over the two tenancies.
"It is likely that all of the employees will be sourced from the local area, including Kelso, which had an average unemployment rate of 4.13 per cent in June 2019; approximately equal to the Australian average."