Green light for motocross track on private property
CLARENCE Valley mayor Jim Simmons has been forced to use his casting vote to ensure a farmer, his family and friends can ride motorbikes on a private track on his property.
Glenreagh resident Bayden Blanchett has constructed a private motocross track on his property on Tallawudjah Creek Rd since moving to the area earlier this year.
The track, which includes jumps, has not been looked upon fondly by neighbours.
One resident gave a deputation describing the impact of the operation of the track and a number of others were among a gallery of around 30 in the Grafton meeting room.
Mr Blanchett also addressed the meeting and described how he has received conflicting messages from council staff.
He said his initial advice was that he did not need any council consent to establish a private, non-commercial track on his rural property.
But further contact with the council led him to submit a DA.
Councillors were divided in their arguments about the merits.
Cr Andrew Baker was worried forcing Mr Blanchett to make a submission was unfair.
"Where I live kids ride motorbikes on a track out the back. They go around and around and make the same noise and rev up," he said.
"What troubles me is that this applicant could say they're allowed to do it, why should I need to have my recreational activity approved.
"There's nothing to say there's a commercial activity, it's a simpler recreational activity."
Cr Greg Clancy went into bat for the objectors.
He said where Mr Blanchett had put his track was not sufficiently isolated to protect his neighbours.
"It's Important people living in rural areas do not have to put up with noise like trail bikes," he said.
"It's like jet skiers roaring up and down river.
"If there are no complaints, there are no worries. That's not the case."
The vote to approve Mr Blanchett's track was Crs Baker, Simmons, Toms and Lysaught.
Crs Novak, Clancy, Ellem and Kingsley voted against.