#Neighborhood Living
NT Planning Commission

The Northern Territory Planning Commission is seeking public comment on a document entitled “Towards a Darwin Regional Land Use Plan 2014”. This document is considering urban development opportunities across the Darwin rural area, including the cadastral locations:

a. Por. 055 2821, 430 Howard Springs Rd. Current zone type LAPRL1, and

b. Sec. 055 05623, 145 Howard Springs Road. Current zone type LAPCP.

These areas are commonly known as the Howard Springs Pine Forest, and are possibly the most widely used mountain biking/off-road cycling area in the Greater Darwin region.

The off-road cycling community has, over several years, and without public funding, constructed an extensive network of tracks that are used on a daily basis by a growing number of riders of all ages abilities and fitness levels. If the area is rezoned this significant recreational and sporting resource will be lost to the Top End off road cycling community.

On behalf of all Top End of-road cyclists, and other interested members of our community, the Darwin Off Road Cycle Club (DORC) has drafted a submission to the Planning Commission requesting that consideration be given to rezoning the Pine Forest as open space /for public recreational use (or similar). This will mean that it can continue to be used as an important off-road cycling venue in the Top End. Key justifications for this are as follows:

1 The area already provides approximately 30km of well-established and well-used “purpose built” off road cycling tracks.

2 The tracks are highly convoluted/circuitous and thus make very economic use of the land as a riding venue.

3 The tracks have been developed and maintained entirely at the cost of local cycling enthusiasts and are sustainable as such.

4 The tracks provide a safe area to for beginner cyclists to learn to ride off-road yet are extensively used by experienced riders of all ages.

5 Junior development and training of mountain bikers occurs on these tracks and has produced National junior mountain bike representatives.

6 Various circuits within these tracks have been used for many years as a formal safe racing venue that requires negligible coordination with other “vehicle/road” users.

7 The tracks are well used on a daily basis, including at night.

8 The area is possibly the only land that can be almost completely ridden in all seasons without damaging the environment.

9 The area provides a convenient “ride to” venue for Palmerston residents yet is easily accessible by Rural and Darwin residents.

10 The number of cyclists (including off road cyclists) in Darwin is increasing and the Pine Forest is already a popular alternative to increasingly congested multi-use cycle ways.

11 The Pine Forest’s proximity to an existing reserve lends itself to being developed as an extended recreational area.

A full copy of the submission can be seen at www.dorc.com.au

I support the principle of retaining the Howard Springs Pine Forest as an important recreational area, and in particular to maintain its status as a popular place for off road cycling activities.

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The Keep Howard Springs Pine Forest for Recreation petition to NT Planning Commission was written by Anonymous and is in the category Neighborhood Living at GoPetition.