NSW GreenValleys Freeride Park - the approval process.

Hi guys , my name is nick . and as most of you do here , I love riding a MTB.
Competition isn't really my thing , but give me a trail , throw in some northshore , and some hefty jumps and I am right at home.

I have the opportunity to create a very unique MTB bike park in the Shellharbour region , NSW , and so i thought i would share the experience of what has been involved in the process so far..

Keep in mind , that the venture may NOT be approved by shellharbour council - but hey, there is no harm in trying..
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back in early 2007 , i had the opportunity to use some land , that is perfect for mtb activities - so i made some enquiries to shellharbour council and was told that i could do whatever i wanted for personal activity , but when i wanted to an "event" i should ring the council and let them know....

late in 2007 i contacted the wollongong MTB club and told them I was thinking about starting up a MTB park - and would they be interested in holding DH competitions on the site.

I mainly dealt with Peter Sanderson and the interest from the wollongong MTB club was huge..

mid 2008, I contacted council back and asked for some information on the establishment of a MTB park.

I was told that NO - I could not establish a MTB park as the current zoning of the property does not allow for the activity of mtb.

And so the process began...
After several emails and phone calls to a certain council member , i felt that i was hitting a brick wall . I was repeatedly being told that this venture was not possible .

The wollongong MTB club also sent a letter to shellharbour council , with the same response.

The response was that the zoning of the land does not allow the activity of mtb on it..

I find it interesting that the particular council member i dealt with would not offer any next step solutions , only tell the legislation.

With the answer from this council member being NO because of zoning issues . 1 - agricutural and 7 - conservation area . It would seem logical to have a report done by a qualified professional to see if the activity of mtb would effect any of the zoning issues .

So Aug 2008 i had a flora and fauna assesment done by the the environmental company - eco logical - to assess the site in detail.

And yes this was expensive....
With the final report in my hands in oct 2008, i contacted my lovely council member, stating that i had a report done and wish to find out how i can overcome zoning issues .

I was told that council would NOT rezone the land and that the venture would not be approved.

Extremely frustrated i started to make enquiries as to who i should be talking to and was told that there is no one else...


Shellharbour council is currently under administration . THis is partly because most of the council has been sacked for being corrupt or for being useless.

I guess i had been dealing with the last of the useless ....
I decided to start contacting the person in charge to get some answers - the adminstrator..

Enquiries to his personal assistant ( a lovely lady ) and some prompt return phone calls from her gave some startling information.

- my enquiries had nothing to do with the council person that i had been dealing with


I was then put in touch with the correct people and here i am..

very excited...
I used eco logical pty ltd to present a letter to the strategic planners of shellharbour

proposal letter

I had a meeting with the planners that outlined the proposal for a mtb facility and associated environmental matters on wed may 6 , 2009

this meeting was very positive , and a site inspection was then organised for wed may 27th....
Site inspection was today..

Bunch of suits walked around a property , stood in cow shit:D and asked a bunch of questions about track design , camping ground operations , spectator zones , and shuttle vehicle turning points..

Fantastic meeting with the final comments from shellharbour suits saying

" this facility will be great for shellharbour "

I can only feel excited...

I get an answer within 3 months as to the approval of mtb activities , and camp ground on the site... If the answer is negative then i have a chance to appeal the decision with my planning team and community support..

I'll keep you posted - but id say after today - Greenvalleys Freeride Park is going to be up and running by spring 2010.

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Likes Bikes
damn man i can't wait, it's going to be absolutely awesome :D

if you need help for trail building, i'm sure my mates and i would help out :)

Well done man!
Looks and sounds like it cost a fair bit to get where you are, and a fair bit of frustration to.
Hope it goes through, my parents are planning on heading around australia just camping in two years.
Ill be telling them to go there so I can tag along ahha.


Likes Dirt
Well done mate, great to see someone actually persue this in our area as we have hit many brick walls, looking forward to giving our support,


Likes Bikes
Dito to all the comments above. Go you for having the energy and determination to get this proposal to the point it is now. Regardless of whether this goes through or not you will have raised the profile of the sport with the council and that can only be a good thing.

Really hope it gets through though. I'll be down there for sure.

Well done mate!!:D


Likes Dirt
there better be a 4X Course!!

anytime you need a hand drop us a PM i will be there in like the 30 minutes it would take to catch a train.


Likes Bikes and Dirt
fantastic. same as all of the above with the brawn. if your willing to go the rounds with council, the least we can all do is help out when you need it. :)


Likes Dirt
Me and Woody went down there a while back to check it out.

The land is fantastic for MTB tracks! You can do a wicked DH line and there is plenty of space and some verrry interesting natural features that can be used for MTNX, dual slalom, DJ and Slopestyle!

I am stoked to hear it is going forward. :)

Old Shagger

Farkin Legend

Great to see and hear some positive as i have 'heard on the grapvine' for a long time now of your dream....
I am out of the admin and organizational and track building stuff of DH,DS etc now, however if you want a hand, input, to discuss anything and everything, give me a PM and i would like to help. I live and work in Oak Flats, used to be the DH coordinator for WSMTB, NSW before the newNSWMTB, and have organized state/national events in the past(does anyone remember nundle....mmm)....
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props dude

hell yeah good work mate, its great someone has finaly actually putting plans into place! im glad the council is now on your side.

my only thumbs down is that it is soo far away! when you get this up and runnign how but making a trip down my way ehh? haha
but good work all the same mate, this might open councils eyes :eek: << like that haha

chrisco :cool:
thanks for all the comments so far..

I'm going to call council next month to see where it's at. I've been told by the end of august but I like to keep checking in on the progress with the decision on the site by shellharbour.

I figure if I harass them enough they will just say YES to shut me up..

At the least, I'd say the site will be approved for legal MTB activites . Its because i want permission for a primitive campground set up that it makes it a bit tricky for the rezoning issues..

If it all goes ahead , Greenvalleys MTB Park will become a nice little MTB mecca for the big hits and fun runs.. As well as hosting some pretty sick competitions...

I'll keep you posted :)

Im going to shut the petition down on the website soon as I have well over 1700 people that have signed the e-support...

And if you get to read this - those who have e - supported will get an invitation to the pre - open day for greenvalleys. FREE entry and Exclusive use of the park for FREE before the official open day...:D Plus the opportunity to get a discounted GVP membership card for MTB and camping priviledges

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