24-hour servo and fast food chain approval upsets neighbours

Greenlit: The former nursery site on Geelong Road in Canadian may soon be home to multiple fast food restaurants and a 24-hour service station. South Ward councillor Ben Taylor (inset). Picture: Jeremy Bannister
Greenlit: The former nursery site on Geelong Road in Canadian may soon be home to multiple fast food restaurants and a 24-hour service station. South Ward councillor Ben Taylor (inset). Picture: Jeremy Bannister

A new 24-hour service station and dual fast food restaurant has been approved in Canadian, with residents fearing the “hell” of a drastically reduced quality of life. 

The development at 728-736 Geelong Road, Canadian will establish a service station with a 120 square metre fast food space alongside it, as well as a larger 273sqm restaurant north of the site.

City of Ballarat has issued a notice of decision to grant site developer Bentley Property Group with a planning permit for the project.

Before a planning permit is issued, new plans including a partially mountable traffic island on Geelong Road will need to be submitted to the Roads Corporation. 

Canadian resident Robert Terrill, who owns a house next to the former nursery site, objected to the proposal as he believed it would increase traffic, noise and light pollution.

Mr Terrill said he was afraid the development would take away the personal sanctuary he and his co-tenant had created, including fostered animals and an organic garden.

“We’re worried about the noise and the sound,” he said.

“It’s also going to bring people in from every direction, because there’s no fast food down that way right now.”

“It’s perfectly dark, beautiful and peaceful at night.

The site in October, 2016. Photo: Google Maps.

The site in October, 2016. Photo: Google Maps.

“Apparently living next door to these things is hell, and we’ve only been here two years … I don’t want it to be hell, because we’ve put so much effort into making the house a home.”

The Bentley Property Group were contacted about the development, but declined to comment. It is believed they are still in discussions with stakeholders around which fast food outlets will be onsite. 

South Ward councillor Ben Taylor said market demand was the determinant for construction in this case, with precedents such as 24-hour service stations already in existence on Geelong Road. 

“It’s more about the market drive, and where we get passing traffic, the market is going to decide what’s appropriate in that space, whether that’s fast food or ‘slow food’,” he said. 

“We have a culture in Ballarat, and more broadly Australia, to get food that’s readily available.”