Ninety five per cent of people are in favour of the Bulahdelah Highway Service Centre, developer Peter Kampfner told last week's MidCoast Council September monthly ordinary meeting.
Mr Kampfner advised councillors that since Bulahdelah had been bypassed the town had experience a significant loss of trade.
"Bulahdelah has been hammered by the bypass and I would like to see Bulahdelah put back on the map," he said.
"Our intention is to revitalise the town, improve employment and attract tourism.
"We need council to reaffirm its support of this project."
According to Gavin Maberly-Smith from Coastplan Consulting, Forster and Tuncurry, the loss of trade has had far-reaching effects for the town and in many cases resulted in a loss of second income opportunities for families.
In some cases this has resulted in the loss of key employees in other industries, such as sawmilling and agriculture, as they relocate to other areas where work is available for their spouses, Mr Maberly-Smith said.
Supporting the project, he believed, would provide much needed employment and inject more than $2 million annually into the local economy.
While MidCoast Council supported the proposal, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) did not claiming the planning proposal was inconsistent with the RMS Pacific Service Centre Policy.
At a meeting in early September with the developer and Bulahdelah Chamber of Commerce, council staff agreed the planning proposal met all relevant State, regional and local requirements to proceed.
"The decision from DPIE to not support a highway service centre in this location is in the view of staff mainly a matter in interpretation," MidCoast Council strategic planning acting manager, Richard Pamplin reported.
The proposed highway service centre would be situated at the northern end of town - adjacent to the northern interchange - to recapture the passing trade which no longer stopped in Bulahdelah.
As part of the 8.6 kilometre project Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) purchased the service station four kilometres north of Bulahdelah,
During the construction period - 2010-2013 - the station was closed until 2015 when the RMS entered into a lease agreement with an operator to reopen the site.
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