City of Albany council to vote on motorplex rezoning

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
The Perth Motorplex.
Camera IconThe Perth Motorplex. Credit: Phil Luyer - High Octane Photos/HighOctanePhotos

Albany Motorsport Park is set to clear a major council hurdle next week when City of Albany councillors vote on an officer recommendation to rezone the Drome site.

A City committee last week voted 8-1 in support of the recommendation to rezone the land on Down Road South, about 20km north of Albany, from “priority agriculture” to “special use”.

The land was bought in 2019 for $1.4 million as the first instalment of the State Government’s $5.75 million 2017 State election promise.

The council first voted to rezone the land to enable the construction of the motorsport park in June 2019.

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But when the original plans were referred to the Environmental Protection Authority, the City was told the proposal “significantly exceeded assigned noise levels”, affecting four homes in the area.

The council voted last year to modify the plan by removing the proposed drag strip and burnout pad, restricting events to a 6pm finish time, and using one track at a time.

The park will feature a motocross track, a 4WD/ATV training area, and a 3.5km wide multi-use racetrack.

This month, City officers recommended that the council support the planning scheme amendment to rezone the site, after a 60-day public comment period which attracted 37 submissions supporting the proposal, 22 objecting, and a letter of support signed by 333 people.

Those in support of the proposal said the park would create a safe area for motorsports and give young people a place to pursue their passion in a controlled environment.

“This development will be great for the local economy. There is a lot of pre-existing interest in motorsport in Albany so makes sense to create a purpose-built venue,” one ratepayer said.

Comments against the proposal said as parts of the land were bulldozed and sealed with cement and bitumen “natural degradation of the land will occur”.

Another said the site was “excellent food producing land” and questioned the effect of oil and petrol from vehicles on the surrounding water catchment system.

But City officers recommended that the council go ahead with the rezoning, noting motorsport disciplines “lack suitable facilities in the region”.

“A dedicated area for motor sporting activities is greatly needed for the Albany region,” the report said.

The council is set to vote on the rezoning at its February 23 meeting.

If approved, the proposed scheme amendment would be forwarded to the WA Planning Commission for final approval from the Planning Minister.

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