THE most intriguing new development in Lithgow this week centred on the old Mobil petroleum depot in western Main Street.
Passersby were more than just a little curious on Tuesday when heavy earthmoving equipment, a portable office and other construction site facilities were moved onto the site.
Lithgow council officers were initially as mystified as anyone else and sent a ranger to investigate.
A council spokesman told the Mercury yesterday the contractors had been engaged by the site’s owners to remove petrol storage tanks.
He said such work involves approval of council the necessary paperwork had been provided.
The spokesman said the contractors had apparently been engaged to carry out similar work at a number of disused storage and distribution facilities around the state.
The western main street depot is registered to the Vacuum Oil Company with a head office in Melbourne.
It was for many years a regional distribution hub for Mobil petroleum products, at one time receiving bulk deliveries by rail tankers which utilised a level crossing spanning Main Street.
The rail siding was later abandoned in favour of road tanker deliveries.
The depot closed several years ago and intermittently since then has been the subject of complaints to council about its increasingly neglected appearance.
The council spokesman said the site was these days zoned as residential but extensive decontamination would be required before any new development could take place.
Just what the future holds for the site remains a mystery for the present but residents are hopeful for some significant improvements.