SORRY, FOLKS: Builder cries foul over city parking
A BUILDER has offered a public apology to the Grafton community, which he says is losing out from a decision to construct a kerb and gutter in Villiers St.
"I love Grafton and I just wanted it known I did my best.” said Robin Gipp, veteran Clarence Valley builder of 62 years.
"When I finish this I am going to be hated, so I just want to offer an apology to the parking public of Grafton.”
The builder has been left frustrated after being unable to convince Clarence Valley Council to allow him to install a V-drain instead of a kerb and gutter at the old St Mary's School site.
The current kerb and gutter plan would result in the removal of up to nine parking spots from Villiers St which Mr Gipp said could be avoided if they agreed to the changes.
Mr Gipp had the formwork in ready to go if council agreed to the change and said he had been trying to convince them to allow the change for months, but they would not meet with him. "Anyone with common sense would want to keep the parking there because there is a desperate need for parking in that area.”
"This wouldn't change anything for me but morally we should provide it. There is just no regard for the public.”
The council's environment, planning and community director, Des Schroder, said arborists had inspected the site and recommended against the installation of a V-drain as additional parking there could pose a risk to an adjacent fig tree.
"The development application was submitted with plans for kerb and gutter and that is what was approved,” he said.
However, parking over tree roots was something Mr Gipp said was common in Grafton and did not see a reason why this area should be treated any differently.
"Everywhere you look there is parking over the roots of trees,” he said.
"Maybe I am a bit outspoken, but this is for the benefit of the people.”