Council divided on controversial motorsport park
A CONTROVERSIAL motorsport park at Bella Creek in the Mary Valley has been given approval by the slimmest of margins as Gympie councillors wrangled with the plan for almost an hour.
Developer Scott Canty's proposal has been a thorn in Gympie Regional Council's side for more than a decade thanks to multiple refused applications and legal action preventing any activities from being held at the site.
Yesterday the park was given the green light by a 5:4 vote after councillors spent almost an hour nutting out what restrictions should be imposed.
Mary Valley councillor Bob Fredman said the council was caught between a "rock and a hard place" with the proposal. Despite the previous noncompliance issues and legal sanctions against Mr Canty, none of these could be considered by councillors when assessing his latest development application.
And although many Bella Creek residents were against the park, Mr Fredman said there was significant support for it across the region too.
It was not smooth sailing for Mr Canty's application, though.
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Councillors made several additions to the 26 conditions already recommended by staff; these included initially limiting the number of patrons to 600 instead of the 1100 proposed, and requiring significant damage to Bella Creek Rd caused by any of the events held at the site to be repaired within one month.
Mr Canty will only be able to hold events at the site for a total of nine days every year; he can ask to increase the number of patrons allowed on site in the future.
Crs Bruce Devereaux, Dolly Jensen, Shane Waldock and Warren Polley voted to refuse the park; all other councillors voted for.