Hornsby Shire Council has approved plans for a new cross-country mountain bike trail in Old Mans Valley.
“We’re very excited about this and looking forward to the chance to build a strong cycling community in the Shire,” Sydney North Off-Road Cyclists Club Secretary Craig Starling said following the decision.
The trail was first proposed in December 2008 and since then the plans have undergone a number of changes as the result of consultation with the public.
Of the 307 submissions received from the public 266 were in favour of the proposal.
Council sought an independent assessment that found the trail will not have a significant impact on the environment
It has also committed to 51,700 square metres of bush regeneration work and moved the proposed trail so it is at least 20 metres away from the Blue Gum Diatreme Forest in the valley.
To address the concerns of nearby residents regarding noise, the trail has been moved as far from property boundaries as possible, while a screen of foliage will be planted to increase the privacy of Dural Street residents.
Signs will be erected urging riders to be considerate of residents and the trail will be closed after dark.
“This is exactly how local government is supposed to work,” Hornsby Mayor Nick Berman said.
“It began with a great idea that a lot of people in the shire want, then we were careful to take the time to speak to everybody affected to make sure it will work.”
“It’s a great example of the results we can achieve through conversation and compromise. We’d like to thank all those who have taken part in this process.”
Mayor Berman also thanked the shire’s bike users for their patience.
"I met a man the other night who had just one question when he found out I was involved with Council: 'Are you still going to give us the mountain bike trail?'
"The answer, thanks to this approval, is a resounding yes."