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Blue Mountains Gazette - "Community gets final word on bike tracks"

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By moggio - Posted on 21 July 2011

In the Blue Mountains Gazette Wed 20 July 2011

"The community will have one final say on controversial plans for a new network of mountain bike tracks in Knapsack Reserve.

Councillors last (Tuesday) night agreed to send an environmental assessment of the project to public exhibition.

The independent report tabled at the council meeting determined the project would not have a “significant impact” on the surrounding area, negating the need for a further environmental study that could have delayed the plans a further nine months.

The project has been hotly debated since Knapsack Reserve was identified as a potential site for construction of downhill and cross country riding tracks following the council’s decision to close illegal trails at Mount Riverview and East Blaxland in early-2010.

Downhill riders left without anywhere to pursue the sport in the Lower Mountains have since worked extensively to convince the council and community of the merits of a new facility.

But environmental groups and some residents have consistently expressed their concerns about the potential damage the activity could cause to the area.

The proposal features a 6.5km cross country track to be shared with walkers and a 1.4km dedicated downhill track. The majority of the project would incorporate existing trails but would require the construction of 1.7km of new track.

A further report addressing the outcomes of the consultation process will come before the council on October 11."

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