Car park sale is on

CLARENCE Valley councillors have called for legal advice before they make a final decision on the sale of the Maclean car park for an IGA supermarket.

Yesterday members of civil and corporate committee voted 4-1 to support the sale of 3750 square metres of car park, start preparing for the land to be rezoned business and prepare subdivision plans.

But after concerns raised by Cr Karen Toms, the council will also seek legal advice about an alternative offer made for the land by Woolworths Ltd.

That advice is to be presented to the council meeting next Tuesday.

Councillors yesterday heard deputations from IGA.>D national network growth manager Luke Mackenzie, Maclean Chamber of Commerce representative Ken Giese and Maclean Spar Supermarket owner Bob Little.

They also closed the doors to the public for a confidential session to discuss the Woolworths offer.

Cr Richie Williamson said no decisions had been made about the Woolworths offer, and Cr Toms confirmed it was higher than the $2.5million offered by IGA.

Cr Toms said she was concerned councillors had received no legal advice about the Woolworths offer and wanted to ensure ratepayers got the best value for money.

Cr Jim Simmons moved successfully that, subject to the legal advice, IGA be given three months after the approval of the rezoning and subdivision to submit a development application.

Mr Little told councillors they had been consistent in only one thing – rejecting any supermarket proposal he put before them.

His plans for a supermarket in the car park were rejected. “Suddenly councillors feel there is a need for some flexibility,” he said.

“It's a pity that didn't happen 10-15, even 20 years ago.

“What happened to those councillors who stood up and said they wouldn't allow the sale of the car park space? The message we get from customers is: ‘how could these people make this ridiculous decision?'.

“The council has dollar signs in its eyes.”