Gosling Creek Reserve could host major human powered vehicle races after Orange City Council decided to go ahead with changes to the area.
They include widening the path up to six metres to enable triathlon and human powered vehicle events to be held, expanding sporting storage areas and allowing camping and recreational vehicle parking during events.
Council agreed last week to forward an amended draft of the Gosling Creek Reserve Plan of Management to the state government for adoption and approval despite receiving four submissions opposing the changes.
Cr Stephen Nugent suggested council look at other venues for a HPV racing event.
However, other councillors said Gosling Creek Reserve was the appropriate location.
Cr Glenn Taylor said HPV racing had the potential to attract big crowds and major tourism dollars.
Nick King, the secretary of the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange, spoke against the changes at council's public forum.
"We feel it conflicts with the intention of the Gosling Creek plan of management which requires the reserve to be developed as an environmentally-based recreation area," he said.
"A six-metre wide track and the use it to which will be put will compromise the social and environmental milestones achieved in the reserve and allow it to be unecessarily dominated by incompatible use mainly for a minority of users."
He said the reserve was ideal for families, beginner bike riders and people strolling around.
"It would be a tragedy if such a successful public open space should be spoiled," he said.
MAP: Gosling Creek Reserve
However, Mr King said ECCO supported HPV racing.
"A well-constructed circuit has the potential to stage a range of enjoyable events which would attract visitors to Orange," he said.
"We feel the Gosling Creek site with its social and environmental constraints is not the best site for a truly world-class HPV facility."
He suggested a better site would be in the Bloomfield Park reserve on Bargwanna Road.
Mr King said the wider track would encourage "high speed cycling outside of events which is dangerous" to other users.
The Orange Field Naturalist and Conservation Society's submission said the changes would threaten the environment including the fenced-off high biodiversity zone on Bloomfield Road.
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