Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler will call on his council to fast-track a geotechnical assessment of a Riverside Drive site at Bombo to determine its suitability for a proposed petrol station.
In a mayoral minute to be presented at next week’s council meeting, Cr Petschler will also request Kiama council enter into more discussions with RailCorp over a possible location for another petrol station on quarry land near the Bombo interchange.
For more than a year Kiama council has been negotiating with RailCorp over the potential purchase of the Riverside Drive site to allow a service station to be built there. The council believes the site would suit locals and travellers, as there was access from both sides of the highway.
In February, council staff were told the land could be sold and Government Property NSW advised that it would be prepared to consider ‘‘exclusive negotiations’’ with Kiama council relating to the land on the basis that the development would ‘‘provide local economic benefits and public good’’.
The exclusive sale approval is dependent on the confirmation the land can be used as a service station, but has already attracted the interest of potential operators.
Last month a Facebook site labelled Save Kiama Downs from Petrol & Fast Food Giants led to more than 1000 ‘‘likes’’.
Concerns were raised regarding perceived lack of transparency and information, the potential for a fast food outlet to be built, traffic congestion and access, the impact on other businesses and tourism, and its perceived visual impact.
A petition will be presented at the council’s July meeting.
Cr Petschler said he would be seeking permission from the council for a preliminary geotech study, basically to look at what depth of fill was on the site, to determine if a service station was possible.
‘‘It will play a big part when it comes to the provision of underground petrol tanks,’’ he said.
‘‘Anecdotally we are told there is a reasonable amount of fill, but there is some talk it is variable.’’
He said he would also ask the council to discuss with RailCorp the potential for a site on the western side of the interchange, but in a position that would provide highway access.
‘‘The quarry is still operating, but we understand it is getting closer to the end of the operation,’’ Cr Petschler said.
‘‘It could still be a few years away, but it could be more appropriate to put the site there if something is available. In the meantime we will continue to talk with petrol retailers.’’