A REAL DRAG: Mitchell and Michael Reibelt, Jim and Helen Gibson and Brendon Dunn are concerned about the proposed Carnell Raceway overlay, which would have an impact on their properties.
A REAL DRAG: Mitchell and Michael Reibelt, Jim and Helen Gibson and Brendon Dunn are concerned about the proposed Carnell Raceway overlay, which would have an impact on their properties. Liana Turner

'Leave our land alone': residents angered by overlay

IT'S like comparing apples and oranges.

That's how Stanthorpe residents have described the Southern Downs Regional Council's proposal for a planning overlay at Carnell Raceway, similar to one already in place on the land surrounding Warwick's Morgan Park.

Residents say they have had no issues with the facility since a court order setting limits to the raceway's operations was put in place in 2015.

While they're not opposed to the raceway, landowners have urged the council not to remove their rights, as the overlay would see tighter restrictions on use of residential land in the area.

If put in place, the overlay would restrict the subdivision and residential use of land in the vicinity of the raceway.

Owners of vacant land could find it difficult to build new homes, while home owners might not be able to build additional dwellings.

New homes would be subject to conditions to alleviate the impact of noise pollution, including double-glazing and air-conditioning.

Stanthorpe residents believe the existing agreement has been working and fear the overlay could have a drastic impact on their property prices.

Real estate agent Sally Rowen said this was a major concern.

"It's going to be in detriment to the residents affected by the zoning overlay,” she said.

"They're doing this to try and bring it in line with Morgan Park. We feel they're trying to bring in line apples and oranges.

"They're two very different situations.”

She said plans to deregulate the raceway's operating hours were also a concern.

The proposed overlay for Carnell Raceway.
The proposed overlay for Carnell Raceway.

Ian Jackson has lived in the part of town which is included in the overlay for several decades.

He said the proposal was "retrograde, retrospective planning”.

Mr Jackson said he had no issues with events at the raceway and reaffirmed the 2015 court ruling, which limits Carnell Raceway to 20 racing days a year, was a compromise which worked for the residents.

"(The overlay) will make it difficult to sell a house out there,” Mr Jackson said.

"The court order... is effective and all parties have sort of compromised and they're happy.”

Helen Gibson, who also lives within the overlay, said the vast majority of residents had no problem with the raceway as it was currently operating.

A council spokeswoman said the overlay boundaries were determined by a consultant environmental engineer based on noise monitoring conducted at the raceway and surrounding properties.

The Stanthorpe and District Sporting Car Club, which operates out of Carnell Raceway, was approached for comment.

The drags at Carnell Raceway on Sunday, February 12, 2017.
The drags at Carnell Raceway on Sunday, February 12, 2017. Liana Turner

Submissions welcomed on overlay plans

SOUTHERN Downs councillor Neil Meiklejohn, whose portfolio covers planning, attended a forum in Stanthorpe last Tuesday night, where residents questioned the basis of the proposed Carnell Raceway overlay.

"There was some good discussion,” he said.

As this was designed as a developers' forum, Cr Meiklejohn said he'd hoped for a higher representation of real estate agents and prospective developers of land in the area.

Still, he welcomed the strong discussion around the matter.

While the event addressed changes to the council's Planning Scheme in a broader sense, he said the Carnell Raceway overlay was the key issue raised.

"They are concerned... about the overlay and it was discussed at length,” he said.

Cr Meiklejohn said not everyone who spoke out against the proposal had identical issues.

"They all expressed concerns in some way,” he said.

While many residents were concerned about the proposed restriction on subdivisions, Cr Meiklejohn said some of the land near the raceway was already restricted in a number of ways.

"There is a significant amount of restriction already in that area,” Cr Meiklejohn said.

"At the moment there's only one lot in that overlay area that could be subdivided.”

He encouraged anyone impacted by the proposal to lodge a submission.

  • Submissions are open until Friday, March 31. Visit sdrc.qld.gov.au or council offices for more info.
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