A CENTRAL Victorian council will try to block a service station being built outside Elphinstone.
Mount Alexander Shire councillors on Tuesday voted to oppose the servo being built at 2355 Harmony Way, near a junction with the Calder Freeway and the Pyrenees Highway.
It paves the way for a contest to be judged by state planning umpire the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal at a later date.
Developers are taking the council to VCAT after it failed to make a decision fast enough.
Six members of the public objected to the proposal and council staff said it would permanently remove farmland from an area zoned for farming.
"Whilst the site is not significant in size, it is recognised that there is renewed interest in part-time small-scale farming, therefore the site must be considered to have capacity to sustain an agricultural use," shire officers have previously said.
On Tuesday, Cr Stephen Gardner said the council should widen its objections to include traffic safety concerns.
The proposal hit opposition from three councillors who supported the service station in principle.
Cr Tony Cordy supported the servo and said any traffic management concerns could be overcome through road design.
"Yes, it's farming zone, but this particular site has no value as a farming property," he said.
A servo could bring up to five jobs to the area and three electric vehicle charging points for travellers, not to mention fuel for residents including farmers, Cr Cordy said.
Cr Matthew Driscoll said the servo would be good for the local business community.
A new petrol station could increase competition in a shire which may be paying too much for petrol, he said, though Cr Gardner responded that high prices were about far more than servo competition.
"Just because you have another petrol station doesn't mean its cheaper," he said.
Cr Gary McClure felt most of the objections he had seen had been addressed.
"I think the houses that surround the proposed property are well set back from the road, they are well away from the [proposed] service station," he said.
Cr Henderson opposed the service station, saying it was too close to the Harmony Way intersection.
The servo would add to challenges motorists already had navigating two intersections and three roads in close proximity to each other, she said.
Cr Henderson regularly travelled through the area and said it was prone to bingles.
"This is not a good place to have a service station," she said.
The vote was tied three for and three against. Deputy mayor Rosie Annear used her casting vote as meeting chair to oppose the service station bid.
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