The community of Murrumbateman has spoken up regarding the development application for a new Highway Service Centre.

The proposal is currently prohibited as the land is zoned primary production.

The applicant is seeking an amendment to the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 (YVLEP) to permit a highway service centre at the intersection of Barton Highway and Long Rail Gully Road.

In response to a post made in the Murrumbateman Notice Board, some residents of Murrumbateman shared varying reasons for their disappointment with the proposal.

The most common perspective was that there was no need for another service station with so many other options nearby.

“20mins from Nicholls, only about 15 to Yass. Do we really need one there? If someone were to want to stop, I’d rather they support the pub or IGA than a corporate monstrosity,” wrote one commenter.

‘3 service stations in Yass town. One on the Hume. One in Murrumbateman already. Canberra less than 30 mins away. This is a late April Fool’s joke, right?” wrote another.

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Another commenter said the project detracted from the money and time spent trying to make the area’s roads safer.

“Let’s spend millions straightening the road to reduce the danger of the curves. Now let’s put a servo with turning lanes and vehicles leaving and trying to get back on the highway. You tried to get out of Hercules St at peak hours or a Saturday morning?”

A shared view was that this had the potential to take away from what makes Murrumbateman special and the reason many of its residents choose to live there, its character.

“Murrumbateman is going to lose all its character and become another piece of Canberra monstrosity,” wrote a commenter.

Councillor Mike Reid responded to criticism directed at Yass Valley Council for allowing the development application to be proposed.

“Just for the record! Council has been asked to support a “gateway” proposal. If we deny this, the applicant can simply go to court and probably will get the OK to continue (if Council objects, we get into litigation and big $$$ and we may lose!),” his comment read.

The Planning Proposal is now on public exhibition until 5pm Monday, 7 June 2021 with submissions currently being accepted via Council’s website.

Max O’Driscoll