Chamber's plan is essential for Maclean's survival
A CONNECTING road from Maclean to Townsend as part of the Pacific Hwy upgrade would be essential for the survival of Maclean, according to the Maclean Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber has proposed to Roads and Maritime Services, as well as Clarence Valley Council, to connect Maclean and Townsend at Brooms Head Rd via Goodwood St from the new highway's eastern interchange in the form of a sealed, 80kmh road.
Maclean Chamber of Commerce president Peter Gordon said the new highway was splitting Townsend from Maclean.
"The real growth areas are all east of the Maclean interchange, and as a town Maclean needs to be easy to access otherwise the people who live in Townsend and Gulmarrad and James Crk will shop elsewhere," he said.
"The people who shop in Maclean, a lot of them live in that area to the east of the interchange, and a lot of our industry is out there and at the moment a lot of employment. We need to have very easy access to Maclean from these growth areas and the industrial estate, because if it's too long of a journey they won't come into town."
Mr Gordon said the chamber has spent 12 months working on the proposal, but it was an idea that has been around for years.
"Now is the time to do it, when we've got all the resources and the knowledge available to us," he said.
"We've had meetings with the RMS and they're quite happy to build us the offramp from the eastern interchange to Goodwood St, which is already there but it's just an old road that's not used much any longer.
"It's really up to council now to cost it, and we hope they look at it and see the benefits it will bring."
As well as allowing easy access to and from Maclean for residents east of the highway, Mr Gordon said the direct access to the industrial area should take heavy vehicles off the local roads.
"It could open the whole area up to housing developments as well," he said.
"There's very little area to develop housing in Maclean, but the space this road would open up is quite an inviting area for housing developments.
"It's all there and ready to go, all we have to do is get some momentum going. People can see it's a great idea, all we need is to get council behind it."