The site earmarked for development is between William Street to the north and High Street to the west, at the site of the current Wallan Car Wash. It was the former site of the Wallan Catholic Church.

MITCHELL Shire Council has received major plans for a service station and an adjacent retail development between Bentinck and High streets in Wallan, with members of the public now able to provide feedback.

Council received a planning permit application for a service station, convenience store and five retail premises on a block encompassing 156 High Street, 143-149 Bentinck Street and 151-155 Bentinck Street, with plans to create small units and a residential super lot in the future subject to a separate planning application.

The proposed service station would be located in the north-west corner of the block, between William Street to the north and High Street to the west, at the site of the current Wallan Car Wash.

The retail development would sit to the south of the service station along High Street, with parking for 63 cars. A liquor store is among the proposed retail tenants.

The total space for the proposed petrol station and retail development is 3129 square metres.

The future units and residential lot would be in the north and east, along Bentinck and William streets.

Documents submitted to council by design and planning consultancy Urbis said the development could serve as a ‘gateway’ entry point to the Wallan township for people coming from the north, with plans to include a distinctive sign surrounded by landscaping.

In its submission, Urbis argued the ‘proposed buildings and works [were] contemporary in style and [would] contribute to the evolving character of High Street’.

Urbis said the development would mesh well with council’s Wallan Town Centre Masterplan and Urban Design Framework.

It said existing plants and trees along the High Street reserve would be removed and replaced with a ‘significant entry statement of trees’ to create an avenue of honour leading into the town centre.

The Urbis report said consultants had met with council prior to submitting the planning permit application.

It said it had achieved several key elements required by council in its submission, including: improving the appearance of the precinct; providing opportunities for larger-format commercial and retail; encouraging vacant sites to construct buildings as close as possible to the High Street frontage; and providing site access from High Street to protect the residential interface along Bentinck Street.

The report found several aspects of the council plan were not achieved, including: the provision of an east-west connection through the site; potential for higher-order community facilities; and a road connection along the southern boundary of the land to enhance access to the town centre for motorists and pedestrians.

Urbis’ report argued traffic engineering advice showed there was no need for a southern road connection, and the council had not engaged further on the applicant’s approach regarding opportunities for council offices or other community buildings to be located in the development.

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