Letters

Action Group concern

Ed,

I write on behalf of the Greater Maclean Community Action Group and regarding the article in The Independent ‘MacNaughton Place $900,000 makeover’ (CVI  21/2/18). 

We feel that the information you received is not a true reflection the actual events. The “four day intensive workshop with ‘key stakeholders” referred to in the article implies that ALL stakeholders workshopped for 4 days. The reality is that the workshop attended by the majority of stakeholders on Tuesday 12th Dec ran for only two hours from 12 noon to 2pm. On Thursday 14th, only 46 hours after the “workshop” closed, the Consultant presented a quite detailed presentation of the proposed development for MacNaughton Place stressing how the Developer was “working very closely with Council” but addressing little if any of the input of the majority of community stakeholders. For example, the Scottish Town theme was completely absent and the key elements of the Clouston Plan for MacNaughton Place, viz., the Marina, was simply ignored.  

The article further stated that “a copy of the presentation was sent to key stakeholders that attended”. To date, we have not had any communication from Council or the Consultant and we understand that the other “key stakeholders” with the exception of the Maclean Chamber of Commerce, have also been overlooked.

That said, might I add that our major concern with the proposal is that it has diverted a Federal Government grant of $1.8M away from its stated community objective, that being the construction of a public boardwalk linking MacLachlan Park with the Historic Victorian era Courthouse precinct of the town. Instead, more than half of the grant funding is now to be invested in works at MacNaughton Place that increase the value of the property Council sold to a private developer for a surprisingly low reserve price, only a few weeks earlier. Any public benefit from this expenditure of public funds is very difficult to identify.

Ian McLennan
President, Greater Maclean Community Action Group

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