Wakefield Park taking council to court over upgrade conditions

Approval has been granted, but with more than 90 conditions



  • Development application approved with conditions
  • Track’s high-noise days would be reduced to 30 from 2024
  • Raceway will appeal decision in court

Wakefield Park Raceway is taking Goulburn Mulwaree Council to court over its development application, despite the track’s upgrades earning conditional approval.

The council held a marathon public forum last month focused on the track’s application, which includes plans for a new pit zone, corporate areas, and other upgrades. That meeting was adjourned to Tuesday pending resolution of several issues, most of which related to allowable noise and operating days.

When the meeting resumed last night, consent was granted for the upgrades provided 92 conditions are met – a fact the Raceway says could be “devastating” and possibly make its future unviable.

The tough conditions include an annual limit of 75 ‘red category’ days involving noise between 85dB(A) and and 95dB(A), and at least one motorsport-free weekend every month. From 2024, permissible red category days will be reduced to just 30 per year.

While councillors Alfie Walker and Leah Ferrera attempted to have the number of high-noise days increased, their objections were not successful.

Deputy Mayor Peter Walker also asked for the addition of 12 “unlimited noise” days per year, to facilitate high-profile events such as Superbike racing. After the meeting, he told the Goulburn Post he was concerned by the implications of the decision. “On just one day [the Superbikes] event attracts about 6000 people, which is beneficial to the town.

“I saw it as an option because I think transitioning Wakefield to 30 days a year of 95dB(A) could be very detrimental.”

As a result, Wakefield Park has announced it will appeal Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s decision in the Land and Environment Court of NSW.

In a statement posted on the park’s website, its management said the conditions of consent would have a “devastating impact” on Wakefield Park’s continued viability.

“Wakefield Park has cooperated with the council throughout the process, investing significant time, effort and expense in responding to all council requests. This has not led to a result that is workable for Wakefield Park, leaving no choice but to commence court proceedings,” the statement reads.

Operations manager Dean Chapman added the appeal is necessary to secure the track’s future.

“The conditions proposed by the council would severely limit our ability to provide the frequency and variety of events our community looks forward to every year.

“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.”

Chapman previously told Street Machine he would like to see the track’s January 2020 noise agreement honoured in the council’s decision.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council General Manager Warwick Bennett was expected to meet with the council’s legal representatives today in preparation for the case.

The full list of consent conditions can be found on the Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s website.

Editor’s note: Nothing hits harder than an on-point meme, and we enjoyed (and sympathise with) the one below. Kudos to Chris Kewley for this one!