Whitsunday Regional Council has approved a development application, with conditions, for a motocross track and BMX track in Bowen. Photo: Veris
Whitsunday Regional Council has approved a development application, with conditions, for a motocross track and BMX track in Bowen. Photo: Veris

Green light: Wheels in motion for Bowen motorsport facility

The wheels are in motion to create a new motorsport facility in Bowen after Whitsunday councillors approved a development application for a motocross track and BMX track in town.

The facility will be on Woodhouse Rd, where there is a historic motocross track and flat track that have been long abandoned.

Bowen Junior Motorsports Club Inc submitted the application for a motorsport facility and reconfiguration of a lot on Woodhouse Rd, with the project proposed to include a 9.7ha motocross track and 1ha BMX track.

The club, which is affiliated with Motorcycling Queensland, has also included a clubhouse, canteen, toilet block and parking and camping areas in the proposal.

The reconfiguration of the lot is for an access easement to provide lawful access for the Bowen Pistol Club as it is on a different lot in the middle of the proposed development site.

The proposed hours of operation for the motorsport facility are Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm as well as Tuesday to Thursday from 2pm to 6pm.

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"Currently, the club has approximately 20 members and once the track is up and running the club hopes to have major events that could attract up to 300 persons over a weekend," council agenda documents state.

"The size and condition of the existing on-site waste disposal system is unknown, however it is understood that it would not be able to cope with the amount of people that would be expected at a major event.

"Instead, when a major event is hosted, the club will engage a local contractor to supply, maintain and remove a suitable number of portaloos."

The development application was sent out for public notification from July 22 to August 12, 2019.

Two submissions were received during the notification period and one was received outside of it.

"The submissions relate to impacts on privacy, amenity effects (noise, dust and air), proposed operating hours, effluent disposal, impacts on local flora and fauna and erosion and sediment control," the council agenda states.

Plans are in motion for a motorsport facility in Bowen. Photo Scott Powick
Plans are in motion for a motorsport facility in Bowen. Photo Scott Powick

In response to the concerns, council documents state a management plan would be required to deal with major events and include notifying nearby properties of future events.

An approval condition will also ensure the motocross track is not used past 6pm and the club must also prepare a new noise impact assessment.

"In response to the submissions, the applicant commissioned a noise impact assessment by a consultant to model the potential impacts of the development on the surrounding properties," the council agenda states.

"Council had the NIA peer-reviewed, which found significant issues in the modelling that was undertaken, concluding that the results were not realistic as the design of the track was not included in the modelling.

"Therefore, a conditional approval is recommended requiring a revised NIA to be prepared on the basis of the final track design."

A clubhouse and canteen have been included in plans for the facility. Photo: Cade Mooney
A clubhouse and canteen have been included in plans for the facility. Photo: Cade Mooney

Council documents also noted there was no supporting information provided to show odour and fumes from motorbikes would occur, but there would be a condition to ensure they complied with the Environmental Protection (Air) Policy.

During last week's council meeting, Mayor Andrew Willcox said the club was looking at altering the facility placement compared to the original track so a nearby hill would act as a bit of a sound buffer.

"They are looking at moving the track a bit more away from those people," Cr Willcox said.

Development services director Neil McGaffin said the club would be able to ask the council to vary conditions if needed, such as to accommodate school holidays, and the council would consider the request.

"We will make sure all the conditions are satisfied," Mr McGaffin said.

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the application, subject to conditions.


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