Home > SPC Ardmona’s road plan blocked by council

SPC Ardmona’s road plan blocked by council

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The much publicised $100m upgrade to SPC Ardmona’s Shepparton plant could be in jeopardy after councillors denied the fruit processor exclusive access to a road that is allegedly crucial to the project.

A special meeting was called yesterday after the council received over 1000 submissions from locals over the road closure.

Four out of six Shepparton councillors voted against the processor having exclusive access to the road, an outcome that Mayor Jenny Houlihan, who was in favour of the road closure, said could impact on SPCA’s future,The Weekly Times reports.

“Personally, I am very, very concerned that SPC might no longer invest in Shepparton,” she said.

“SPC is still vulnerable. I believe it may now make a decision on its future investment here.”

A statement from the company labelled the decision as “a blow for SPC and for the community”, emphasising that it had done “everything it (could)” to address the concerns of the locals including committing to handing back the avenue if the processor were to close, and committing $1m to “implement traffic solutions”.

“SPC has always maintained that the closure of the avenue is crucial to our ability to undertake major changes… to enable us to succeed in the face of intensifying global competition,” the statement read.

The road in question stretches for 400m and links Shepparton’s west to its CBD. The road is reported to be used by 8000 vehicles per day and also has a number of local businesses scattered along it.

Deputy mayor Dennis Patterson, who was against the closure, said that while the health of SPCA is highly important, it shouldn’t be at the expense of other businesses dotted along the road.

“We can’t afford to lose SPC, but we can’t afford to lose other businesses,” he said.

“Whether it be an underpass, overpass, a deviation — there is middle ground and it’s important we find it.”

Image: www.abc.net.au

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