Woodend residents offer Coles an olive branch

Zoltan Bexley

Residents who defeated plans for a controversial service station development in Woodend have expressed their willingness to sit down with developers representing Coles.

But they remain ready for a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal should the supermarket and petrol giant choose to appeal.

Woodend picture framer Zoltan Bexley is involved in efforts to co-ordinate a community response following Macedon Ranges council’s decision to reject an application for a Coles Express station at 59 High Street.

Mr Bexley will donate 15 per cent from all jobs in his Woodend workshop to fund representation should it become necessary.

But he said a core group of 20 or so residents opposed to the development hoped Coles might be open to revising its plans.

As reported by Star Weekly earlier this month, councillors went against the advice of officers and rejected the application, having heard objections relating to traffic, the proposed development’s size and potential effect on the town’s character.

‘‘This is all about legacy,’’ Mr Bexley said. ‘‘What sort of town do we want to live in?’’

A Coles spokeswoman said the company was disappointed with the council’s decision but was unable to confirm its plans.

‘‘We are … reviewing the decision,’’ she said.