Lockyer Valley council turns down Adare motocross facility
ADARE residents left this morning's Lockyer Valley Regional Council meeting relieved and delighted after the council knocked back a proposal to build a motocross park in the vicinity.
The council chambers were packed with visitors as council first heard 15 minute presentations from the group opposed to the development and the developer himself.
The drama continued as the recommendation to council was then provided to councillors who had 20 minutes to read it in silence while the watching public gallery had no way of knowing what the recommendation was.
After what must have been an agonising wait for all concerned, finally Council's manager of planning and environment Trevor Boheim took the floor to say council was refusing the recommendation saying it was in conflict with the Gatton Shire Planning Scheme.
Mr Boheim provided seven reasons why they were recommending the motocross training facility be refused.
They were 1) protection of the natural environment 2) conflict with the rural character of the area 3) conflict with "sense of place and community identity" 4) conflict with rural agricultural zone code 5) site works adverse impacts 6) reduction of neighbours' amenity and 7) impacts to visual landscape.
The proposed facility was a motocross training facility with a capacity of 40 riders and hours of operation 4pm-9m Tuesday to Friday and 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.
The chief objection from local residents was the increase in noise levels which they said would ruin the rural character of the area and reduce property values.
The developer Colby Steer told the council meeting said they had mitigated the noise to acceptable levels and the park would provide opportunities for local youth in a safe location.
There were 234 public submissions to council with only two providing support to the park.
Mr Boheim's conclusion was the noise assessment reports "demonstrate that acoustic noise quality objectives cannot be met".
"It is clear from these reports and the review of this by an expert engaged by Council that the facility would have an adverse impact on the amenity of residences in Adare and Vinegar Hill," the report concluded.
The council voted unanimously to support the recommendation.
Mayor Steve Jones said the process was "complex".
"It was very important we make this decision purely on planning matters not on emotions," he said.
Mr Colby left shortly after the meeting so his view on the way forward is not yet known but he could take the matter to the planning and environment court.
Several residents left the meeting with tears of joy in their eyes and residents' spokesman Gordon Claridge said he hoped that would be the end of the matter.
"it ought to be the end of the matter because the way the council planner presented it, he had so many grounds for it (the decision) - I think it is watertight," Mr Claridge said.
"The amenity and the environmental impacts trumped everything else."
However Mr Claridge said he was disappointed matters got as far as they did.
"When the Mayor first heard of this why didn't he say 'hey community in the Lockyer Valley, do we want another motocross track and what sort of place would they like it'," he said.
"Did we elect him to represent us or did we elect him to represent developers?"