Crunch time for council over Shoppingworld

THE fate of the $50million Grafton Shoppingworld redevelopment will be known by the end of next week.

An extraordinary meeting of the Clarence Valley Council has been called for September 16 at which the development application will be considered.

Clarence Valley Council environment and planning director Rob Donges said council will be asked to consider developer McConaghy's original DA ? with some alterations.

"One is to retain the facade of the building in Prince Street," he said. "Originally the plan was to do that by buying the shop, knocking it down and redeveloping the site but our consultant recommended the Prince Street facade be retained and the rest of the site converted to an arcade."

He said they also recommended further changes to the rear of Shoppingworld and Prince Street.

"They recommended it be kept open for minor traffic and pedestrian movement and minor public use," he said.

Mr Donges said the development had taken longer than expected to come before council because a further independent economic report had to be prepared for council's independent consultant, ERM.

Mr Donges said councillors were aware of the importance of the decision and would listen to all views.

"Council will probably take more deputations than normal because they want to hear the widest view from members of the community," he said.

The meeting will begin at 9.30am with a site inspection starting at the Duke Street car park. From there it will move to council's Grafton chambers. Members of the public are invited to attend.

? Adrian Miller.

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