An artist impression of facilities at a proposed $41 million development at Empire Vale.
An artist impression of facilities at a proposed $41 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

$41 million plans for go-kart track, private helipad

A $41 MILLION private play haven is planned for a tiny South Ballina village.

It would include a go-kart track, helipad, shooting range, motocross track and polo field on prime beachfront land along Carrs Ln, Empire Vale Rd and Reedy Creek Rd at Keith Hall.

The application was lodged with Ballina Shire Council late last week.

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

This development might seem like a dream come true for adventure sport enthusiasts across the Northern Rivers but, if approved, it would be off-limits to the general public.

Applicant Ringtrank Pty Ltd, in revealing the plans, described the facility as a "family eco-recreational village and equine facility".

It would be for private use only, with no commercial operation.

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

The proposed complex includes:

  • Helicopter hangar and helipad
  • Go-kart track and workshop
  • Caravan park to include 10 sites for "family members and their guests"
  • Shooting range
  • Motocross track
  • Three homes (including a caretaker's residence)
  • Rural workers' dwellings
  • Tourist and visitor accommodation
  • A polo training field and equestrian exercise lawns
  • Equine buildings including: stables, veterinary facility, quarantine stalls and horse float/ equipment shelters.

According to planning documents lodged with the council, there would also be four swimming pools, water features, a putting green and a basketball and tennis court.

"Proposed development areas ... are not expected to have a significant adverse impact on the local environment, as they are largely sited within the cleared cane paddock areas," the report states.

"Significant landscaping, rehabilitation planting, and the proposed offset areas will enhance the site, and provide a net environmental benefit overall to the application area.

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

"Public access to Beswicks Beach ... will be maintained via a new pedestrian pathway. 4WD access to the beach from the subject land will not be available, nor facilitated by the proposed development.

"The proposal is the result of long-term planning to facilitate an equine recreational facility with associated accommodation that will be used in a non-commercial manner.

"The proposed development seeks to balance the complex environmental constraints of land zoned for environmental management and primary production to minimise the impacts of the development on the site and surrounding land uses, whilst maximising its functionality and amenity.

"In addition the recreational facilities provided by the development, the facility is considered likely to provide a range of other benefits including: The long-term management and care of previously neglected coastal land; additional economic benefits and employment for the region."

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed


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