Roadhouse rejected for Woodend

A controversial bid for a 24-hour roadhouse with room for three fast-food restaurants at Woodend North has been rejected by Macedon Ranges Council planners.
Plans included 16 fuel bowsers, a convenience store, three kitchens with two drive-throughs, internal and external dining areas, a picnic ground, parking and bays for 13 trucks.
The ambitious proposal was intended for a 5.175 hectare site in the Farm Zone bordered by the Calder Freeway and Barkers Road.
Community backlash during advertising last year aired concerns for town character and inappropriate use of the site. The plan attracted 152 objections and four letters of support.
Council’s director of planning Angela Hughes said a notice of refusal was issued on August 18 on nine grounds.
“They relate to non-compliance with policy, non-compliance with the purpose of the Farming Zone, impact on landscape and agricultural land, design provisions, and inadequate consideration given to signage,” she said.
In their proposal, the applicants had identified a need for a freeway service centre between Melbourne and Bendigo.
They deemed Woodend North the only suitable site between Woodend and Malmsbury – a Regional Roads Victoria preference for the proposal at the time.
The applicants have 60 days from the date of refusal to appeal the decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if they wish.