Shoppingworld wait is over
By JULIA ILES
THE wait is over ? Clarence Valley Council will today make a decision regarding the fate of the proposed $50million Grafton Shoppingworld extension.
The application to redevelop Shoppingworld was lodged in February by the McConaghy Group, although the project has been in the pipeline since the 1990s. It has been a divisive issue within the community.
Council will meet today to consider granting McConaghy conditional approval for the project.
Proceedings will start with an on-site inspection in the Duke Street carpark at 9.30am before moving to council's Grafton chambers for the meeting, which will begin at 11am and is open to the public.
Independent planning consultants have compiled reports on possible effects of the development, which have been presented to all nine councillors.
A report to council from independent property consulting firm HillDPA, suggests the development would capture expenditure that currently goes to nearby centres.
The report also found as well as creating competition, the redevelopment would introduce two new major retailers.
It concludes the development would be beneficial to Grafton and found that Shoppingworld would have no significant impact on other centres in the trade area.
The McConaghy Group claims the redevelopment will create 350 retail jobs, along with indirect employment in the accommodation sector.
Members of the Grafton business community will be represented at the meeting, including representatives from the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and City Centre Traders.
Robert McConaghy is also expec- ted to be present.