Carramar BMX track to open at Houghton Park despite resident concerns

Work has restarted on the Houghton Park BMX track in Carramar. Picture: Matt Jelonek d458829
Work has restarted on the Houghton Park BMX track in Carramar. Picture: Matt Jelonek d458829

A CARRAMAR BMX track is set to open this month despite complaints from nearby residents.

Upgrades to the Houghton Park track started in May and were scheduled to be finished by the end of July.

However, work stopped at the site in mid-July after a resident repeatedly lodged complaints to the City of Wanneroo about the jumps being used while under construction, antisocial behaviour and concern that their backyard was visible to riders.

The City prepared a report for the August 16 council meeting, which was later withdrawn, recommending moving the start mound, removing two jumps, installing a fence and moving the entry gate farther west.

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The report said rangers and youth outreach staff visited the site on two occasions, the contractor installed additional fencing and a security guard patrolled the site, costing nearly $20,000.

Staff consulted surrounding residents and found that six wanted the track removed. Only one had the same view during the initial consultation in 2015 and five were in support of it.

Comments included that it had “destroyed our lifestyle, health and our investment”, “all we can hear is shouting and swearing and anti-|social behaviour” and that it would “attract the wrong type of people to the area”.

Supporters lamented the delay, cited that objections had not been raised during the original consultation period, and said the track would be “an excellent asset to the community” and it had been “a wonder to listen to the excitement and happiness of young people” during construction.

The withdrawn report acknowledged residents’ concerns and recommended work recommence with modifications to the plan.

Community and place director Fiona Hodges said construction started last week and jumps would be finished based on the initial design.

“While considering the views of all residents, it is important for the community to use this facility and establish usage patterns that will inform ongoing management,” she said.

“A minor amendment will be made to install a fence along the back of the site to prevent activity moving closer to Atley Pass residents.

“The City is developing a management plan for the facility, which will be supported by ongoing engagement with the users of the BMX jumps.

“The plan will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the existing project working group, which includes both users of the facility and community members.”

The facility is expected to open within the next few weeks and includes a pump track for younger riders and beginners, intermediate and advanced track, picnic shelter, bench seating and bike rack.

Ms Hodges said it was “eagerly anticipated” by young people and followed the opening of the Wanneroo Skate Park.

“It is fantastic that we now have another brilliant facility… for our younger residents, as well as those who are young at heart,” she said.

“It is great to see young people out being active, and this is yet another example of council encouraging a healthy lifestyle.”