Maclean's small and unique central business district has once more fallen victim to the unelected triumvirate which governs the Clarence Valley Local Government Area, with more of its green heart ripped away to please the developer, IGA Metcash.
Despite the eloquent pleas of those councillors hailing from the 'Scottish Town', a majority at the 26 June 2012 Ordinary General Meeting voted to further reduce the size of Cameron Park - until it will resemble nothing more than a barren pocket handkerchief of sun damaged turf between so-called improvements jammed together willy-nilly (see Item: 13.080/12 below).
McLachlan Park which straddles the town's vital flood levee is also under threat to compensate for the original carpark land sold to IGA at an almost bargain basement price.
Once again Clarence Valley Council has broken faith with Lower Clarence residents and ratepayers.
Avid council watchers tell me that It is not hard to work out that this unelected triumvirate is possibly taking full advantage of nine shire councillors who have formed into dysfunctional cliques and, that on most matters it favours National Party political aspirant Mayor Richie Williamson's faction.
….options to replace Maclean CBD public carparking lost due to the sale of 3,750m² of Centenary Carpark to Metcash for a supermarket development.
1. Cameron Park, Maclean
Plan A (attached) shows an arrangement whereby 15 additional 90º nose-in spaces can be provided by encroaching 6.0metres into Cameron Park green space. While acknowledging that this is contrary to Council's September 2011 resolution that Cameron Park green space be excluded from consideration, the space sought in this instance is approximately 230m² (out of total green space of approximately 5,500m²) and is located on that section of the Park having least public usage.
Plan A also indicates the provision of an additional thirteen 90º nose-in spaces immediately adjoining the swimming pool. This would require the relocation of the three long-vehicle spaces currently at this spot, and it is proposed to relocate those to the northern side of Argyle Street, shown on Plan B.
2. McLachlan Park
A concept plan prepared by the Maclean Chamber of Commerce for the upgrade of McLachlan Park incorporates 45º nose-in parking. Council staff have refined that plan to provide 16 additional spaces (29 new – 13 existing), including 3 in the carpark beside Spar following demolition of the existing toilet block (refer Plan C)……
3.5 Cameron Park
Remove 7-9 trees and excavate topsoil from 6 metre wide strip, construct carpark and line mark for 15 spaces; construct carpark adjacent to pool and line mark for 13 spaces. In conjunction with those works, the remainder of Cameron Park should be upgraded including new toilets, improved playground, additional seating and BBQ shelters. An improvements plan will need to be prepared and all works could be funded from the proceeds of the supermarket site sale.
3.6 McLachlan Park
The preliminary concept plan suggests the following works:
Remove 5 Camphor Laurel trees
Remove existing footpath and excavate 2-3 metres into park.
Underground power along park frontage as required.
Construct retaining wall along edge of excavation, designed to protect the integrity of the levee.
Relocate the bus bay approximately 30 metres to the north.….
The total number of replacement spaces is now 86, leaving a shortfall of 23 spaces.
Before Clarence Valley Council moves further with this park theft, local people might like to write or email councillors (details here) and tell them just how 'thrilled' they are at the prospect of losing more of Maclean's public, passive green space.