The $100 million rescue of Shepparton's SPC fruit cannery has been thrown into doubt after the company warned it may halt its investment unless the local council approves a road closure.
SPC Ardmona management have asked the Greater Shepparton City Council to permanently close Andrew Fairley Avenue - a short road that splits its Shepparton factory operations in two - and grant the land to the company.
But the plan has sparked a backlash from sections in the community.
Anger has built in recent weeks with complaints that other businesses will suffer from closing the road, which connects Shepparton's industrial district to the rest of town and carries 8000 vehicles daily.
On Friday SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly warned that without the closure of the road, the ''investment program will be halted''.
''If SPC was unable to have free access across the avenue, it will have a major impact on our operations and prevent us from achieving the necessary efficiencies,'' Mr Kelly said.
''SPC's investment program will be halted and we will have to take a revised plan to Coca-Cola Amatil's board who will then review its investment decision.''
The council's proposal to close the road prompted 69 submissions ahead of a meeting this week - 66 against the closure.
Local resident Barbara Brown said SPC had squandered the goodwill built up in the campaign earlier this year to save the cannery from going bust.
The bid to save SPC also took on national significance after the Abbott government refused to make a $25 million federal contribution to plans to redevelop the ailing cannery.
''I think the community went from elation when we were all buying SPC products to disbelief and dismay because of their request to close a major traffic route,'' Ms Brown said.
''Why support one business economically and disadvantage every other?''
But SPC insists closing the road is essential to its improving its factory and reinvestment plans.
The road - named for the founder of the cannery - already has a level-crossing that stops traffic to allow forklifts and factory vehicles to cross.
SPC said it raised closing the road with the mayor Jenny Houlihan in early February, and then wrote to the council on February 14 after the Victorian government said it would contribute to a redevelopment of the cannery.
The council then announced its proposal to close the road on March 18 - leading some in the community to complain that SPC did not consult sufficiently beforehand.
The company rejects and said it had spoken to nearby schools, a childcare centre and business.