Plans for Ballina Coles Express slammed
"HOW many service stations does River St need?" asked owner of Ballina Bait and Fuel Veda Dorrough.
In only three days, the Liberty-branded service station owner garnered over 200 signatures to her petition against the DA for a Coles Express on 323 River St.
The petition, addressed to Anthony Peters of Ballina Shire Council, opposes the construction of the service station due to its proximity to two long-standing existing petrol stations.
The DA, which is on public exhibition until tomorrow, allows for the demolition of the existing buildings on site - currently Clarky's Auto Care - and the construction of a service station and ancillary Coles Express Kiosk.
Mrs Dorrough emphasises that her business is not going anywhere, but feared the excessive competition could spell the loss of her driveway service.
"The whole thing has been a bit of a shock actually. I didn't expect the council would allow three service stations within 500 metres of each other," she said.
"I'm concerned about my staff.
"We work with two staff because of our driveway service but if our income drops, we may have to stop the service.
"There are so many elderly people and mums who need the service."
Mrs Dorrough said nearby residents feared a 24-hour service station would attract late-night revellers and anti-social behaviour to the neighbourhood.
Owner of Clarky's Auto Car, Chris Clarson, was first informed of the DA by his landlord.
"I am looking at sheds nearby and will move within six months. I just want some certainty with my lease. This isn't about me, it's about the other small businesses in the area that will suffer with a big chain coming in," he said.
The application has been placed on public exhibition from February 17 to March 3. Adjoining neighbours have also been notified in writing.
According to a Ballina Shire Council spokesperson, the application has also been referred to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services for assessment and comment and will also be presented to the Local Traffic Development Committee.
The assessment of the application, which is still in its early stages, is likely to take a few months to complete.
Anyone interested in the DA or who may need an extension of time to make their submission can contact the council.