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Community brewing support for developing ideas

A widespread survey involving more than 800 Grafton residents has revealed a large majority of locals are in favour of future development occurring within the Grafton Brewery Complex.

Commissioned by businessman Rick Firth, who purchased the old Grafton Brewery site almost two year ago, the survey revealed more than 90 percent of participants are overwhelmingly in favour of new projects to create jobs and growth in the area.

Mr Firth said residents adjacent to his property in North Street were doorknocked along with an online and paper survey sent out to gauge the appetite for new development.

Other ideas supported include a carwash and a petrol station, along with a range of other retail options.

Mr Firth said he commissioned the survey as there were mixed messages coming from Clarence Valley Council (CVC) about what they would support on the site.

“We asked people who live directly across from the site and those nearby, as well as the wider community, and the results were resounding,” he said.

“People want to see exciting and innovative new development in the town that will allow people to live and work here, and we have the space and vision to provide what they’re asking for.

“We understand there are some who have concerns, but this survey along with only one objection to our recent application for a carwash show people just want us to get on with it.”

The survey revealed 94 per cent of respondents would use a range of services in the Brewhouse Village if they were available rather than travel to the Grafton CBD, including a supermarket, fruit and veggie shop, personal grooming, and fitness facilities.

Mr Firth said the old Grafton Brewery site lends itself perfectly to a retail and commercial precinct that will provide a real destination for the community.

“Our masterplan recognises the historic brewery and will build on its heritage to provide something new and exciting for Grafton over the coming years,” he said.

“We have proof of community support and now we just need the backing of council to make it a reality.”

The Brewhouse Village is already home to the Brewhouse Café and 70 other tenants with over 230 people working in businesses on site.

The Clarence Valley Independent also hit the streets to uncover the opinions of other Grafton residents.

Jesse Harris: The Grafton Brewery site would work well as a local business centre because I think a lot of people would support it.

Shaylah Court: I think it would be good to have more shops at the northern end of Grafton because it would be more convenient for those residents and also people who live on the outskirts of town.

Finn Grayson: I definitely think it’s a good idea because the site is crying out for redevelopment.