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Groups question Maclean park plan

A meeting this afternoon will consider a detailed concept plan for McLachlan Park in Maclean from design consultants King and Campbell.
A meeting this afternoon will consider a detailed concept plan for McLachlan Park in Maclean from design consultants King and Campbell. Adam Hourigan

MACLEAN community groups are queuing up to have their say about the $1.13 million re-development of McLachlan Park at Clarence Valley Council's committee meetings this afternoon.

Four so far: the Scottish Town Committee, the Greater Maclean Community Action Group, the Chamber of Commerce and the Cruising Yacht Club, will address the meeting about what they claim are shortcomings or omissions in the plan.

The meeting will consider a detailed concept plan from design consultants King and Campbell. If the council approves the plan the next step is a call for tenders.

Tender approval is scheduled for February 2015, with work to begin after Easter 2015.

One of the key omissions from the proposal is improved tourist bus parking along the park frontage in River St.

The president of the Scottish Town Committee, Bob MacPherson, said poor parking for buses was costing the town at least five coach loads of tourists a week stopping in the town.

He said making a space for buses to park would require moving two lamp posts back 1-1.5m and reconfiguring the kerb and guttering into a parking bay.

Mr MacPherson said overall the plan for the park was a good one, although his group was worried there was also no plan to relocate flagpoles in the park and find a place for the Twin City plaque.

Maclean has a sister city arrangement with the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye, which is acknowledged on a plaque in the current park.

Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall said council had rejected a chamber proposal to build a sandstone wall along the length of the park instead of the timber boardwalk.

"I don't think it's been thought through," Mr Riggall said. "When council rejected it they said flooding could undermine, but there's base rock there.

"And when floods come, boat owners bring their vessel to the pontoon in front of the park because there's no current there."

Mr Riggall said there is already a sandstone structure there, which has stood for 100 years.

"A sandstone wall would have heritage value and stand for another 100 to 200 years," he said.

"What's to stop some of the ferals around here burning the timber boardwalk down 10 minutes after it's built."

Mr MacPherson said Ian McLennan from the community action group would also address the councillors and Mr Riggall said the yacht club would also send a delegation.

The council report noted community consultation included an open discussion between the design consultants and Creative Communities.

In September 2013 council staged an Open Day in Maclean to discuss the principle of the design plan.

The resulting plans were on display through March and the amendments agreed to have been released in the current detailed plans.

Topics:  clarence valley council, maclean, mclachlan park



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