The owners of Wakefield Park raceway have lodged a court appeal over what they claimed was the council's "deemed refusal" of their development application.
Operations manager Dean Chapman said there was "no choice" but to file the NSW Land and Environment Court appeal given draft consent conditions recommended at a council meeting on Tuesday night. The appeal was lodged on Monday.
In a statement, he said the conditions would have a "devastating impact."
"The proposed conditions seek to dramatically reduce the number of days that Wakefield Park raceway can operate, which will directly impact the ongoing viability of motorsport operations," Mr Chapman said.
"The DA put forward by Wakefield Park was consistent with the noise management framework that was agreed with council in Land and Environment Court proceedings in January, 2020.
"Wakefield Park has cooperated with the council throughout the DA process, investing significant time, effort and expense in responding to all requests. This has not led to a result that is workable for Wakefield Park, leaving no choice but to commence court proceedings."
Asked why the owners had taken the step before councillors decided the matter, Mr Chapman said there had been a great deal of communication about possible consent conditions, but these were getting further away from what was needed to ensure economic viability.
"They won't make us viable in the long-term and only thinking about what will happen two or three years down the track does not make good sense," he said.
"We have from the beginning supplied all additional information that the council requested and given them the opportunity to speak to us. We've gone above and beyond to supply a solid base for them to understand what we're proposing."
Mr Chapman said he strongly believed the appeal was the "appropriate course of action to ensure the right outcome."
Council general manager Warwick Bennett's report to Tuesday's meeting had recommended conditional consent. The complex wants to modernise infrastructure, expand its offerings and formalise the terms of a 2020 noise prevention notice issued by the Land and Environment Court.
But Mr Bennett said that notice was only ever intended to be temporary. He recommended a sliding scale of colour-coded noise limits to be phased in over the next three years. It allowed 140 "noisy days" of up to 85 decibels, averaged over 15 minutes.
This came after meetings with residents and raceway representatives. It also followed lengthy discussion about the development application at a June 22 meeting, exploration of other raceways' operation and of Wakefield's commissioned noise studies.
The GM recommended revokation of the current noise prevention notice and the issuing of a new one reflecting his suggested schedule.
The report also challenges the raceway's economic value to the region. Whereas Wakefield had claimed a $16.9 million annual contribution, council modelling put it at closer to $8 million. Mr Bennett said this was still significant.
"Council should also not lose sight of the fact that the growth of the economic benefit was only made possible via the facility not operating in accordance with its consent," he wrote.
Mr Chapman has disputed this but the raceway's noise studies in 2015 and 2017 conceded that noise was above the permitted 95 decibels at times.
Despite long negotiations about the DA, submitted in September, 2020, he said the proposed conditions would "severely limit our ability to provide the frequency and variety of events our community looks forward to every year."
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"We are committed to grassroots motor sport in Australia and providing the best possible facilities for our competitors, customers, guests and spectators," Mr Chapman said.
"We want to ensure Wakefield Park Raceway can continue to offer the best possible experience for everyone who comes here, both now and into the future."
Mr Bennett could not be reached for comprehensive comment at this stage but told The Post that Tuesday's meeting would still go ahead as the council had to formulate a position for the court.
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