The Dorset Council have been granted approval to assess their development application for the controversial North-East bike trail.
In a letter to North East Residents and Farmers chairman Stuart Bryce, seen by The Examiner, Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson said he was satisfied an independent planning authority did not need to be appointed to assess the application.
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In his letter to Bryce, who is a staunch opponent of the bike trail, Mr Ferguson said it was not unusual for councils to assess their own development applications.
"The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act requires them to consider such development applications impartially and according to their planning scheme," he wrote.
At a council meeting on Monday Dorset mayor Greg Howard said the council was still finalising the development application.
"We are progressing towards bringing the development application to a meeting which will probably happen at the February meeting next year," he said.
The project will see a bike trail established between Scottsdale and Lilydale along an old railway corridor. It was initially planned to establish the bike track through to Launceston but due to opposition from residents hoping to start a Heritage railway the track was shortened.
Debate surrounding the project has swirled for more than five years and won't end anytime soon with opponents of the bike trail already vowing to appeal the development application to the Land Use and Management Appeals Board.
They have previously promised to exercise all of their appeal rights to try and halt the project.
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