THE Healesville SES branch says it will be greatly affected in its operations if a nearby proposed fuel, hotel and fast-food complex gets the go-ahead.
The SES's headquarters is directly behind where the large-scale Maroondah Highway development could be located if approved at tonight's Yarra Ranges Council meeting.
The development would include, among other aspects, a service station, a hotel with conference centre, takeaway food premises, two fast-food restaurants — potentially a McDonald's — and bottle shop, and would require removing large amounts of native vegetation.
Council officers have recommended the application be refused, following widespread community opposition.
More than 213 objections have been received and four petitions with 1153 signatures tabled.
Healesville SES duty officer Jade Cretella said the proposal would harm the response time it took for SES volunteers to access emergency vehicles. "Our LHQ [local headquarters] is not manned 24 hours. We, as volunteers, respond from home," she said.
"It's going to be a problem for members to get to the LHQ as we don't have right of way as residents.
"There will be four entry-exit points along Maroondah Highway and Heritage Lane when we need to get access to LHQ. The traffic congestion will be chaos."
Ms Cretella said it could potentially put lives at risk.
"This is the biggest issue we will face," she said.
More than 80 people attended a council-run workshop last month to discuss the proposal.
"The meeting was more a consultation, where the shire and council members were meeting with the planning department," Ms Cretella said.
A 'No McDonald's in Healesville' Facebook page has more than 500 supporters with most labelling the proposal a disaster.
Ryrie ward councillor Fiona McAllister did not respond to the Weekly's calls by deadline.