Maclean and Gulmarrad developer Andrew Baker.
Maclean and Gulmarrad developer Andrew Baker.

Waterfront ideal for restaurant

BEAUTIFICATION and development of the Maclean waterfront is back on the Clarence Valley Council agenda.

Council will soon consider a development application (DA) for a cafe and restaurant to take advantage of Clarence River views.

Holder Baker Enterprises will lodge the DA with the council next week.

An old timber warehouse that was built in the early 1900s and originally used as an ice-works factory has the potential to be a dining hub in the Lower Clarence, according to developer Andrew Baker.

“We are looking to create a low-key waterfront development,” Mr Baker said.

“Cafes or restaurants in all the places we look at seems to be the lifestyle use of all these open spaces.”

If council gives Holder Baker Enterprises the green light, Mr Baker said he intends to preserve the old ‘rustic-style’ warehouse to retain old-world charm for use in a cafe and restaurant.

“We will preserve the current raw cladding and take advantage of the open spaces to create an atmosphere that the people have envisioned for years,” he said.

If the DA was approved, development would not begin for another 12 months, however, Mr Baker said the end result would change the functions of Maclean.

“I would like to see open space kept along the river bank,” he said.

The building, which faces onto the river, has significant importance to the developer.

He said the area was originally the first North Coast wharf, with the piers still standing.

“This area was essentially the first port for the Clarence Valley,” he said.

“It has fallen into disrepair over the last 30 years but there’s enough heritage about it that it could be brought back,” Mr Baker said.

Council deputy manager Des Schroder said a previous council on the Lower River had considered what was called the Butterworth Plan, created in the late 1990s, to get the Maclean Business District facing the riverfront again.

The concepts of the plan were adopted by a previous council but not put into action.

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