The developers of the proposed highway service station at New Italy have said the design of the project is “deliberately understated”.
Memphis Strategic town planner Wayne Gersbach said the single-storey and ‘shed-like’ design will be constructed of raw, uncoloured concrete with a Colorbond roof and cladding to complement, and not overawe the nearby New Italy Museum buildings.
“It will be subtle and low-key,” Mr Gersbach said.
“The design incorporates a pergola-covered outdoor eating area that is intended to be landscaped and decorated to match the New Italy museum complex.”
“The site’s layout encourages motorists to make use of the New Italy facilities via the Park of Peace that links the two projects.”
A development application from New Italy Holdings (not connected with the museum) has been lodged with Richmond Valley Council for the $14.7 million 24/7 service station and restaurant complex on the Pacific Highway. The development will have a convenience store, four separate cafes or restaurants – two with drive-through facilities plus there will be a truckies area with shower, gym and laundry facilities and a separate lounge.
The proposal has 10 double-sided car fuel pumps and a five-bay electric vehicle charging area, as well as a heavy vehicle area with four high-flow fuel pumps.
The project sits next to the New Italy Museum that will be accessed through an existing slip road, provided as part of the Pacific Highway’s recent upgrade to service New Italy. There are plans for an outside pergola, perhaps including an Italian theme, Mr Gersbach said. The idea was to entice travellers to visit the museum.
The highway upgrade has involved bypassing more than 30 towns and villages, including Woodburn and Broadwater that previously provided services to highway traffic.
The next service station on the highway is Ballina.
Travellers can also leave the highway to stop at Woodburn.
“Between Ballina and Coffs, people will be looking for a service centre,” Mr Gersbach said.
The New Italy site was relatively isolated, “We can put it there and not directly impact on neighbours”.
Noise and environmental concerns and biodiversity as well as safety entering and leaving the station will be addressed.
New Italy Holdings director Joseph Sgro said the application will have a substantially positive economic and social impact and can be safely accommodated without ecological harm, bushfire threat or any negative impact on the site’s heritage.
The DA will be on exhibition until Monday, August 16. The developer plans to hold a meeting with residents once they have seen the DA.
Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said the proposal would also be referred to the Natural Resource Access Regulator, the Heritage Council of NSW and other State agencies.
Mr Macdonald said anyone could formally submit comments to support or oppose the development application, however, council would not consider anonymous submissions.
The application and support documents can be viewed on the council website at richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/council/on-exhibition/
Submissions close at 4pm on Monday, August 16 by post to LB 10, Casino NSW 2470, on the council website or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in the Richmond River Independent, 21 July 2021.