The proprietors of a locally owned and operated service station have been left reeling after Maitland City Council approved a 24-hour truck stop next to their business.
Quinn’s on Melbourne Street, East Maitland will soon be trading in direct competition with the giant international convenience store chain 7-Eleven.
Maitland councillors voted unanimously in favour of a development application for the truck stop at a meeting on Tuesday night.
Quinn’s owner/director Frank Lawler addressed councillors in public access prior to the meeting, but to no avail.
Mr Lawler said there are currently six service stations within an eight kilometre radius of Quinn’s.
He also told councillors that Melbourne Street suffers chronic traffic congestion which would only be exacerbated by the development of a 24-hour truck stop and convenience store.
“We already experience many near misses and collisions here. Accidents will increase dramatically if this 24-hour truck stop goes ahead,” Mr Lawler said.
“Motorists will have to deal with B-doubles etc, creating turning problems.
“The 24-hour site will result in rowdy behaviour with drinkers spilling out of nearby hotels.
“The area is subject to flooding and there are parking problems. These are all serious issues,” Mr Lawler said.
Council planners recommended the development for approval which Cr Ken Wethered moved.
He said the application had gone through the proper process and accessed by council planners.
Cr Bob Geoghegan said he could recall a number of development applications for the site but none of them went ahead.
“I can understand the anxiety from the other service station but it’s not on our agenda to address opposition. I don’t know how many gyms there are in Maitland,” said Cr Geoghegan, owner of Green Hills Hit-N-Dip Sports Centre.
Cr Loretta Baker asked if council would be monitoring traffic in the area into the future.
Council’s Development and Environment Manager David Simm said the development application had been before council for 14 months. “Because we had to get the traffic issues sorted,” he said.