Submissions close today for the proposed Matangi Mountain Bike Park at Alexandra.
The Sanders’ family proposal to establish a commercial bike park on their farm in Little Valley Rd attracted hundreds of comments online, following stories in both the Otago Daily Times and The News in the last two weeks of August.
People, in particular mountain bikers, had spoken in favour of the concept, which was lodged as a resource consent application with the Central Otago District Council (CODC) and publicly notified on August 12.
Motorcycle enthusiasts had protested their exclusion from the proposal and said the bike park should not go ahead if it could not accommodate both activities.
In a submission to the CODC and in a Facebook post on Tuesday last week, the Central Otago Motorcycle Club (COMCC) said it “partially opposed” the park on Matangi Station.
The club said it had no objection to its formation in Little Valley Rd, but would be asking the Sanders family “to consider a relationship that does include motorbiking in parts of the area”.
“Regrettably, because it is proposed to exclude motorcycle use from the Matangi Station, we need to submit in opposition.
“If the current, and longstanding use of the station for motorcycle use is to be removed as a consequence of granting consent, then it should be declined.”
The Matangi MTB Park Ltd proposal did not list motorcycle use in the list activities, which included mountain biking, hiking, walking, orienteering, quail shooting, possibly horse trekking in the future, events, film-making and army training.
The Sanders family hold the Crown pastoral lease on the land.
In their resource consent application, they said tracks had been damaged by unauthorised motorcycle use and the situation had grown “somewhat out of control”.
The informal access had created a situation where it was “unclear who can go where and who can’t”, the COMCC said.
“There is no signage indicating areas for motorbikes and MTB so it is inevitable that some users may end up on the wrong tracks by mistake.”
The club acknowledged this had caused problems.
“.. We believe that these issues can be addressed with a more structured approach from the motorcycle community.”
In an online post, the Otago Moto Group (OMG) said it supported the COMCC submission, that the application be declined and the proposal “go back to the drawing board if it cannot accommodate motorbike activities as well as MTB activities”.
The group would be lobbying the Sanders family and the council through a petition, to allow future motorcycle access in a managed form on Matangi Station.
An area known as the White Sands paddock had potential to cater for this group, which could be managed through COMCC or as a commercial operation alongside the proposed mountain bike park, the group said.
“To be clear, we are not opposed to the MTB park proposal, however, [we] need to see motorcycle access continue and be managed for the benefit of all parties.
“This will enable sustainable management and provide social benefits for all members of the community and be an efficient use of the natural and physical resources of Matangi Station.”
Last minute submissions can be lodged with Matangi MTB Park Ltd and the CODC.