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An artist’s impression of how MacNaughton Place and the courthouse will look if councillors approved the proposal at yesterday’s council meeting; and proposed works to create a riverside square and upgrade of Munro Lane. Images: Clarence Valley Council

MacNaughton Place’s $900k makeover

Geoff Helisma |

At yesterday’s Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, councillors considered whether or not to spend half of Kevin Hogan’s $1.8million grant money, originally earmarked to construct a boardwalk, on improving MacNaughton Place and the area in front of the courthouse.

The ‘schematic design bill of quantities’ tabled at yesterday’s meeting (after the Independent went to press) estimated the cost at $921,045.

Other components of the Maclean riverside proposal are $166,198 for the foreshore promenade (The Link); and, $230,478 for a riverside square and Munro Lane (The Riverside Common).

“Schematic design estimates prepared by the consultant group are currently at $1,460,000 including a 10 per cent contingency, the report to council stated.

Most of the work, if approved, will take place adjacent to the former North Coast Water office, which CVC recently sold to CAE Properties for $550,000.

L J Hooker, Maclean, the agent that sold the property, pointed out to potential buyers before the auction in September 2017: “Investors with the foresight to recognise the inevitable future growth potential, and who acquire property in this Town square, will be the ones to maximise the capital benefits and opportunities to come.”

The report to council advised that “emphasis has been given to the Court House Riverfront (including MacNaughton Place) and the Riverside Square as this land is either owned by Council or currently under care, control and management of the [Clarence Coast Reserve] Trust”.

“It meets the objectives of the Clouston Plan, being the second bookend; and it establishes the gateways to link the [precinct] areas….

“Licences and third party approvals will be required prior to the commencement of construction of the Foreshore Promenade, these may require more than six (6) months to secure and will commence immediately following endorsement of the Schematic Design.”

The tabled designs were the result of “the Consultant team and Council staff” conducting a “four (4) day design intensive workshop in December 2017” with “key stakeholder” groups.

The workshop was attended by representatives of the Maclean Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Maclean Community Action Group, Yaegl representatives and other individuals.

“A copy of the presentation was sent to key stakeholders that attended, and to those that were unable to attend the workshop, on Friday, 15 December 2017, requesting feedback on the design proposal by 5 January 2018,” the report to council stated.

Around $400,000 of the grant is being used to complete work currently underway at McLachlan Park (the first bookend).