Fears for Maclean supermarket
WITH the latest supermarket option for Maclean in limbo and those before it quashed for varying reasons, businesses in Maclean are starting to fear that a suitable site in the CBD will not be found and the future of the town will be jeopardised.
Clarence Valley Council’s 2007 Lower Clarence Retail Strategy recommends a new supermarket of 2000 square metres be developed in the town centre.
With the strategy due for review in June this year, businesses are crossing their fingers that this recommendation is not ousted in favour of an out-of-town supermarket.
President of the Maclean Chamber of Commerce, Bob Little, said the chamber believes a supermarket site out of the town centre would be of real detriment to the town.
“Maclean isn’t big enough to support another centre on the outskirts of town, nor the duplication of outlets like newsagencies,” Mr Little said.
“It’s absolutely frustrating that it hasn’t been resolved.”
The Argyle Hotel’s Warren Campbell believes businesses in Maclean are already starting to feel the effects of shoppers heading elsewhere.
“Unfortunately we are already seeing the results of council decisions, much to the detriment of Maclean,” Mr Campbell said.
Despite Andrew Baker’s Maclean car park site probably being the easiest, according to council deputy general manager Des Schroder, the argument against the sale of public land is unlikely to be overturned by the current council.
And council’s Rob Donges said: “Council owns the land and has had a number of approaches over the years to buy it but on each occasion the council on the day declined to sell the public land for the creation of a supermarket.”
Cr Ian Tiley said that although the ideal location for a supermarket was the CBD he maintained that ‘giving up the green space in the centre of town is not negotiable’.
The Clyde Street site, although approved by council ‘in principal’, has yet to meet rezoning requirements, and its own car park issues remain problematic, while the Stanley Street proposal was deemed unviable.
“It may get to the point where each option is exhausted,” Mr Schroder said.
Back in the CBD, the supermarket debate could soon return to Darrell Brown’s Stanley Street site.
Mr Brown is now in discussion with developers to revisit and redesign his original proposal into a ‘workable and viable concept’ for Maclean.