Harwood community out to buy RMS land
FOR the last three years there have been fewer communities affected quite as much by the highway upgrade as the village of Harwood.
With a now mighty bridge dissecting it, roads appearing and disappearing on a monthly basis, the residents have handled the disruption with grace and patience.
And now they're asking for one thing in return.
Members of the community have written letters to both the council and Roads and Maritime Services inquiring about purchasing land and property surrounding the newly built bridge, which would normally be sold off at auction once the project is complete.
Their letter to the council states the community has a vision for additional available land use, but it can only be realised through purchase by Clarence Valley Council of the surplus residual land via open market auction or tender.
"The purchase of the land is a rare opportunity for the council to support their river communities, enabling us to realise present needs and future visions,” it states.
"Indeed, it would be a great tragedy if this opportunity went unsupported.”
The group held an informal meeting under the bridge on Tuesday morning, and were visited by several Clarence Valley councillors both on and before the meeting date.
Their letter said the group was encouraged by the support and commitment to Maclean, Ulmarra, Grafton and Clarence Valley precincts recently developed by council.
Mayor Jim Simmons, who spoke with the group recently, said he thought the opportunity to secure land from the RMS, whether through lease or purchase, was a good idea.
"I've been told there will be a report to council that will deal with the whole Harwood precinct, similar to what has happened in Ulmarra where they come up with a masterplan,” he said.
"Depending on what that report says there may be other options... but I think it's a good opportunity and good practice to proceed further.”
The group has also proposed the acquisition of a nearby house to be used a cultural and community centre for the village, with the area underneath the bridge possibly to be used for car parking, and toilet amenities for the hall and the community.