CONTROVERSIAL DESIGN: McLachlan Park barbecue shelter is part of the upgrade to the area.
CONTROVERSIAL DESIGN: McLachlan Park barbecue shelter is part of the upgrade to the area. Clarence Valley Council

Controversial park is ready to go

THE redevelopment of McLachlan Park has been trying and conflict-ridden, but now it is finally done, Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said it was very satisfying to see the project complete.

Mr Lindsay said the section of riverfront at McLachlan Park, which is part of the Maclean Riverside Precinct project, was now more accessible for the community and tourists.

"When we opened up the levee wall so that you could see the river from the CBD of Maclean, it makes Maclean a destination for tourists and locals alike to just go and sit and enjoy the river for what it is," he said.

When the park officially opened over Easter, Mr Lindsay said there were yachts moored on the dock with people travelling down the Clarence to enjoy the Highland Gathering.

"It's been a high profile project that has been watched by the locals and there has been a lot of interest from the community on the progress.

"David Sutton's team have done a fantastic job."

Mr Lindsay said even Mr Sutton helped the outdoor staff with the build in the lead-up to the opening.

"He came in close to the Easter period on his day off to help with the completion of the project," Mr Lindsay said.

While the removal of the camphor laurels at the beginning of the project brought a negative reaction from the community, Mr Lindsay said they had received mostly good feedback from the community since its completion.

"It's been mostly positive, but we've had some negative comment around the actual barbecue shelter and the design of that," he said.

"(It) was signed off by council, but it's just a little open to the elements.

"There is a more covered barbecue facility more to the north."

Council will begin work on the southern end of the precinct in the coming months.

"Council is about to start on the southern end adjacent to the court house," Mr Lindsay said. "Then feeding back until we get to behind the Maclean Hotel, and the levee wall will be opened up there as well so we have a community space."