Property owner fed up with paying fees for council reviews
MORE than 3000 people have signed an online petition to help a Glenreagh family operate a private motocross track on the family property.
The petition has been raised to support Bayden Blanchett and his family's battle to have the track on their Tallawudjah Creek Rd property approved.
Mr Blanchett built the track soon after buying the property in 2016 and later that year lodged a DA with Clarence Valley Council.
Rural zoning does not normally require landowners to submit DAs, but there were aspects of the track that concerned the council.
At a council meeting in December 2016 the council's director environment planning and community, Des Schroder, said property owners were usually allowed to ride motorbikes on the their land, without needing to involve the council.
"If he didn't have mounds or jumps, he wouldn't need to bring in the development control process," Mr Schroder said.
Mr Blanchett said it had been his decision to submit a DA for the track, to ensure it complied with regulations.
In December 2016 and February 2018 the council approved a DA for the track, each time with a condition for a 12-month review of the impact of the track. The period for the latest review has just passed.
Mr Blanchett said the costs of applying to council were also aggravating the process.
"I've paid twice for applications to council and I don't know if I will have to pay for another one," he said.
"I thought the councillors waived further payments for reviews at the last meeting, but I'm not sure now."
The council has confirmed officers have prepared a report reviewing the track for the March meeting, but cannot comment on anything in the report before it goes to council.
At both council meetings neighbours gave deputations complaining that noise and dust from the track was impinging on their lifestyles.
Mr Blanchett said this had died away except for a particular neighbour who had maintained a log of times bikes used the tracks.
He believed many of the entries on this log are incorrect.
"I've been able to see the log and I know there are a lot of inaccuracies," he said.
"For example there's an entry for people riding on the track on the day my wife gave birth in Coffs Harbour Hospital.
"There was no-one on the track that day, because we were all in at the hospital."
The change.org petitioners have concerns the council could remove the privilege of riding motocross bikes on private property.
"Clarence Valley Council have deemed a motocross track in some ones back yard an 'outdoor recreation facility' deeming the need for development consent for people riding motocross bikes on their own private property," the petition said.
"If the neighbouring complaints are successful in manipulating the council to dismiss this activity on this persons property it will give the right to cease the activity on multiple families properties in this region especially in RU2 Zoned Areas and take this away from our kids and their ability to do this outdoor physical activity."
Mr Blanchett said he had reached the stage where he was considering knocking down the jumps so his family and friends could ride their bikes around without worrying about complying with conditions.
"I don't know what to do," he said. "I keep getting conflicting information and the stress from this is doing my head in."