Little planning big change

BOB Little's plan to establish a new SPAR supermarket in Maclean at the corner of Church and River streets is one of three supermarket plans being assessed by the Clarence Valley Council.

The new SPAR would cover 2000 square metres, roughly five times bigger than Mr Little's existing SPAR in central Maclean.

The proposed supermarket would have a much broader range of goods and would be able to offer much cheaper prices because of the increased efficiency of a bigger shop, Mr Little said.

He said the proposal also included 70 undercover parking spaces “which will ease the need to carry groceries to the car”, and one speciality shop that “hasn't been defined at this stage”. The new store will also bring new jobs to the area, he said.

Mr Little has a development application for Church St before the Clarence Valley Council that could be considered as early as next week, otherwise it will go to the council's May meeting.

Under Mr Little's plan, the established SPAR will continue to operate with a focus on customer service and supplying CBD customers.

If given the go-ahead, the new store will be owned and built by a developer who will lease the property to Mr Little on a long-term basis.

Mr Little said, in all likelihood, his son would end up running the new store while Mr Little senior would stay on at the established store.

SPAR Australia is a private company made up of independent supermarket owners that collectively manage their own warehousing operations.

The Maclean Chamber of Commerce is currently circulating a petition to measure which of the three supermarket proposals before the council is most supported by local businesses.

The other proposed sites include Clyde St and Centenary Dr, behind the CBD.

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