A dispute over noise and operations at Wakefield Park raceway appears headed to a hearing, following failure to reach a resolution.
Representatives from the Braidwood Road facility, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and residents met as part of a conciliation conference on Thursday.
It was part of a Land and Environment Court appeal Wakefield Park launched against the council's consent conditions approved in July. Benalla Auto Group is challenging the number of operating days and their noise limits, saying it will make the raceway unviable.
In part, the approval gave the facility a maximum of 50 days at the noisiest level, 95 decibels, transitioning to 30 by year three.
The complex wants to modernise infrastructure, including a new pit lane building, expand its offerings and formalise the terms of a 2020 noise prevention notice issued by the Land and Environment Court.
But the parties have been in dispute since residents aired their concerns about noise and other impacts two years ago.
A joint statement issued by the council and Wakefield Park on Thursday stated that the conciliation conference was terminated without resolution.
"Both parties have agreed to undertake further investigative work in relation to a number of matters relating to noise that is being generated as a result of use of the facility," the statement read.
"The information obtained from this work will be used at a forthcoming court hearing that will determine how noise from the facility will be managed into the future. Both the council and Wakefield Park look forward to finalising the matter to ensure that the interests of all community members can be reasonably balanced."
Wakefield operations manager Dean Chapman said the hearing "highlighted what the experts needed to sort out."
"Hopefully we'll know more in the next few days on what action needs to be taken," he said.
"Further work is needed and we'll knuckle down and do it."
Mr Chapman declined specific comment on whether the company was contemplating pulling out of Goulburn.
"Every business looks at options and opportunities in the market," he said.
"...A lot of time and effort has been put in by the council, us and the residents. I want to reach a resolution but I don't know (whether we will)."
Six residents also presented their cases to Commissioner Sarah Bish in the all-day conciliation.
One of them, Jane Reardon, said the noise modelling on which Wakefield Park relied remained "a bone of contention." She and other residents detailed their experience with noise from the raceway.
"This is the second time we've done this, the first being at another Land and Environment Court conciliation which resulted in the interim noise prevention notice and then the development application," Mrs Reardon said.
"I'm pleased that we were able to present our case and bring a different perspective. The Commissioner listened intently."
But Mrs Reardon said Wakefield Park had "umpteen" other opportunities to resolve the impasse and it had "spurned" each one. She was not confident of a resolution before the March 8, 9 and 10 hearing.
The council preferred the matter went straight to a hearing, rather than conciliation, environment and planning director Scott Martin previously told The Post. This was due to failed negotiations.
Residents have said they did not want to shut the raceway down but strike an amenable solution.
Mr Chapman told The Post he wanted the facility to be a positive part of the community and was excited about building programs for vision impaired drivers and training opportunities for those with disabilities. These were part of an expanded offering the raceway was proposing.
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