Taichung F3 track approval closer

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 13, 2015 - Page 3

A project to construct a Formula 3 (F3) racetrack in Taichung passed an environmental impact assessment on Thursday, with the developer expecting to hold four international races at the venue each year.

The proposed racing circuit is to be constructed at Lihpao Land (麗寶樂園) — previously known as the Yamay Recreation World (月眉育樂世界), the nation’s first build-and-transfer amusement park — in the city’s Houli District (后里).

The developer, Yue-Mei International Development Corp (月眉國際開發), said it would hold four international races and 50 private races every year, as well as constructing a hotel complex with 585 rooms to accommodate an estimated 3.8 million tourists per year.

Following Penbay International Circuit in Dapeng Bay (大鵬灣), Pingtung County, the proposed project would be the second such raceway in the nation that would be qualified to host all the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) G2-level events except for Formula 1 races, the developer said.

The developer said it would cap the noise of racing vehicles at 110dB and would not hold night races, and would construct noise barriers that comply with noise control regulations.

Environmental impact assessment committee member and National Taiwan University oceanography professor Song Gwo-shyh (宋國士) said that the proposed racetrack is adjacent to an active fault line that caused a catastrophic earthquake in 1935, but the developer did not mention any response measures to earthquake disasters. Song added that the developer has yet to submit a geological survey of the area.

Song said the developer should reinforce the structural integrity of the facility against earthquakes to guarantee the safety of track visitors.

The committee questioned whether the extraction of underground water at the racing facility could lead to ground subsidence at the bullet train’s tracks, as the proposed racetrack is only 400m from Taiwan High Speed Rail tracks.

The developer has said it would plant 683 native trees in the area to contain air pollution, however, the committee said the developer did not evaluate whether there is enough room in the facility for those trees.

The committee approved the development project, but asked the developer to submit a complete survey of the geology and groundwater system in the area, as well as plans to clean and recycle oil spill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The developer should also conduct noise monitoring in sensitive areas surrounding the facility, the committee said.