Cairns service station development: Council decision on Yorkeys Knob BP plan

It was once the site of a planned heliport but now developers want to turn a picturesque tract of agricultural land into a service station.

IT WAS once the site of a planned heliport but now developers want to turn a picturesque tract of agricultural land at Yorkeys Knob into a service station.

They may have run into trouble this time with Cairns Regional Council officers calling for the plan to be rejected.

The planning and environment committee is due to decide on Wednesday whether to approve a service station and two fast food restaurants on current sugarcane land on the Captain Cook Highway.

Council documents show the property was previously earmarked for a heliport and attached educational establishment and caretaker’s residence – but those plans had been allowed to lapse.

It should come as no surprise to the developer, listed as Yorkeys Knob BP Pty Ltd, but planning officers are not even remotely on board.

“A written prelodgement response was provided to the applicant on about March 18, 2020 about the proposal,” a report states.

Consistently, throughout this time, the applicant has been advised that the proposal would unlikely be supported.

“Despite the previous prelodgement discussions, the applicant has lodged the development application.”

Papers before Wednesday’s meeting state the development “conflicts with the policy direction” that prohibits non-rural development within the Barron River Delta flood plain and outside the specified urban area of Yorkeys Knob.

It also states the project would represent a visual intrusion to the delta, which was “of rural character, dominated by stands of trees along the highway and rivers, sugarcane and smaller rural buildings, including agricultural sheds”.

The decision lies with councillors, who may take into consideration the fact no submissions were made against the project despite going to public consultation.

Regardless of its fate, it is just another in a rapidly growing number of new petrol stations proposed across the city.

Council development files reveal there have been six applications for brand new service stations in the past year – two directly next door to each other in Clifton Beach, and one apiece in Smithfield, Bungalow, Manunda and Cairns North.

During the same time, multiple existing applications have been approved.

Extracted from Cairns Post

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