Maclean now spoilt for choice

THERE are now four live options on the table for a new supermarket in Maclean.

Councillors at a Clarence Valley Council committee meeting on Tuesday voted 2-1 to support a rezoning application for land behind the Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-operative in River St. That would allow a proposal for a 3200sq m full-line supermarket and 300sq m medical centre to progress further.

However, councillors voted against allowing for a rezoning of an area for 1000sq m of specialty shops as part of the proposal.

There are now applications, at various stages of development, for supermarkets in Maclean – one near Causley’s Fruit Barn at the western area of the CBD, two in the centre of the CBD and the new application near the fish co-op.

Three of the four would require rezoning changes.

Council officers had recommended against supporting the rezoning application for the Hogues Ln proposal (fish co-op area) on the basis it was inconsistent with the Mid North Coast Regional Strategy and the Lower Clarence Retail Strategy.

Their recommendation was supported by the mayor, Richie Williamson, but his motion lapsed for want of a seconder.

Councillor Ian Tiley, who moved to allow the rezoning with the exception of the 1000sq m of retail shops, said the council needed to move to get a supermarket in town.

He said the council needed to be open and transparent about supermarket applications, particularly as the council owned some of the land on which one of the applications was based.

“We don’t want to stop natural, market forces,” he said.

“However, we were concerned the application contained 1000sq m of speciality shops (probably about five specialty stores) as we saw that as potentially being harmful to the CBD.”

He said there was a feeling in Maclean people just wanted the council to reach a decision on a supermarket location and plan.

“I think we will get there,” he said. “This one is on a large area and doesn’t have some of the same constraints as applications for the CBD.

“I think some of the opposition to having something away from the CBD is dissipating. If people realise it is only a supermarket and you can still have specialty shops in the main part of town, they might support it.”

Cr Tiley said it was common in Europe for specialty shops to be located in the older part of town and supermarkets on the outskirts.

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