PEREGRINE Corporation has revealed its grand plans for South Australia’s future motor sport hub at Tailem Bend.
A hotel, caravan park, air strip, service station, restaurants, workers’ accommodation and wrecking yard are all among the developments the corporation envisages at the Tailem Bend Motorsport Park, which it wants to develop into a “national-level, multi-discipline motor sport facility”.
The corporation is in the process of purchasing the property from the Coorong council – the two parties have exchanged contracts but not yet reached settlement.
In exchange, councillors pushed through changes to the local development plan – the document governing who can build what, where – at a special meeting last Monday.
Peregrine Corporation director Samer Shahin had written to the council to suggest it loosen a range of regulations, including those governing native vegetation, landscaping and on-site advertising.
“Peregrine have an active interest in ensuring that the industry and motor sport development plan amendment allows Tailem Bend Motorsport Park to be redeveloped in a manner that is appropriate for Peregrine’s long-term objectives and gives confidence in making the substantial investment needed to satisfy those objectives, as well as satisfying the broad objectives of both council and the State Government for this economically significant site,” he said.
“The role of the development plan amendment is to facilitate innovative solutions that will encourage motor sport development.”
Peregrine is poised to invest significantly in the site to create a national-standard motor sport park.
As well as improved racing tracks, such development would include an airstrip and helicopter landing facilities; service station, car wash, convenience store and restaurants; hotel and camping and caravan facilities; workers’ dwellings; wrecking yard; advertising signs; and associated industrial development.
The council accommodated Mr Shahin’s requests, but amended regulations for the site rather than removing them entirely.
Council chief executive officer Vincent Cammell said the project was not just about motor sport, but about the potential for regional growth and increased employment and services in the area.
"Peregrine Corporation has the financial resources to ensure the success of the development and a track record of delivering," he said.
"We will be doing everything we can as a council to work with Peregrine Corporation to assist in facilitating the delivery of this project."
A public meeting on the development plan amendment was due to be held on Tuesday night, but was cancelled due to a lack of submissions during a recent consultation period.
Peregrine Corporation and Federal MP Tony Pasin – who commended the council for its proactive approach to the development – were the only parties to submit comments.
In November, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and State Government chose Tailem Bend as the preferred site for any motor sport development in South Australia.
Since February 1, Peregrine Corporation has resumed hosting events for drift, drag and rally cars and motorcycles at the venue under an interim lease arrangement and the name SA Motorsport Park.