FILE PHOTO Brenda Strong

Fears proposed development could contaminate drinking water

A PROPOSED service station has sparked concerns from Crows Nest residents that contaminants could make their way into the Toowoomba region's water supply.

Marakech Pty Ltd is proposing a three-stage service station carwash development on the corner of Albert Street and the New England Highway in Crows Nest - land which is zoned for "limited development".

The watercourses that run across the property feed into Crows Nest Creek, which runs through Crows Nest National Park before becoming Cressbrook Creek, which in turn flows into Cressbrook Dam - one of Toowoomba Regional Council's water supplies.

Modelling of the 2011 floods through the proposed development site.
Modelling of the 2011 floods through the proposed development site. Contributed

The land is identified as having a medium flood risk in the council's draft flood study.

While residents are fuming about the proposal, Precinct Planning's Paul Kelly said the developer had gone to "considerable expense" before lodging the development application "to prove that in terms of flood, or issues like contamination, that they will be addressed during the design of the development".

"The applicant has gone to lengths to demonstrate compliance with relevant standards," Mr Kelly said.

Long-term Crows Nest resident Barry Miller said the proposal was "absolutely outrageous".

"It's swamp land... and it's one of the main watercourses that feed into our water supplies," Mr Miller said.

"My concerns around (the building of the service station) are contamination.

Plans for the proposed service station at Crows Nest.
Plans for the proposed service station at Crows Nest. Contributed

"If there was a major fuel spill, the contamination could get into the water... think of the ongoing effect."

He was also worried about flooding.

Mr Kelly said there had been flood studies and other information submitted to council for the development.

"The applicant feels they have addressed those issues, but there may be more information requested by the council. If it is, we will respond," Mr Kelly said.

The council is accepting submissions on the project until March 30.

Some have already objected to the proposal, with one resident saying she was concerned the area was a flood zone, and that the water that flows through the area feeds into Toowoomba and Crows Nest's water supply, and would be at risk of being contaminated by the development.