Wakefield Park fate may not be known for months

NSW Production Touring Cars at Wakefield Park. Picture: Wakefield Park Facebook

Wakefield Park Raceway may be waiting until June for a decision from a three-day court hearing over new noise limits.

Management of the Benalla Auto Club-owned circuit took Goulburn Mulwaree Council to the New South Wales Land and Environment Court (LEC) over a development consent issued in July last year.

At the heart of the issue is the new noise limit system which would be progressively introduced before taking full effect in 2024, when a cap of 30 days per year at 95 dBA would apply.

That is the noise level at which a normal race meeting would run to, hence Wakefield Park considers the new development consent would render its operations unviable.

The hearing was held last week, beginning at Goulburn Court House and concluding at the LEC building in Sydney, with Commissioner Tim Horton reserving judgement.

Now, council’s general manager, Warwick Bennett, says he is not expecting the finding to be handed down for another three months, reports the Goulburn Post.

Wakefield Park’s and council’s respective noise experts both gave evidence in court during the hearing.

Circuit management has until Friday to lodge outstanding written submissions, after which council has a week to respond and then Wakefield Park a right to reply.

Wakefield Park operations manager Dean Chapman declined to comment when approached by Speedcafe.com late last week, following the hearing.

The circuit opened in 1994 and had been subject to the original, 1993 development consent until a prevention notice was issued in January 2020 to give interim approval to its operations.

The July 2021 consent was to take effect this year, with a cap of 50 days at 95 dBA in 2022, 40 days in 2023, and the final, 30-day annual cap from 2024.

Wakefield Park is due to host the Australian Superbike Championship on April 22-24, the competition’s third round of 2022 after events at Phillip Island last month and Queensland Raceway this weekend.

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