HOPEFUL: Maclean Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall.
HOPEFUL: Maclean Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall.

Council to consider stone wall

A SANDSTONE block wall along the waterfront for the $1.13 million redevelopment of Maclean's McLachlan Park has shifted from impossible to distinctly possible.

On Tuesday, in front of a packed gallery of residents, Clarence Valley Council voted to defer a decision on proceeding with the planning of the work until it gets full costings for the wall and preliminary works and looks at the ramifications of any delays this causes.

Council was considering a detailed plan for the park redevelopment that incorporated a wooden boardwalk along the waterfront.

Cr Margaret McKenna and the Maclean Chamber of Commerce had problems with the proposed wooden structure.

Cr McKenna presented a five-point deferral motion to the meeting borne out of a special trip to Maclean late last week where she consulted with Chamber representatives and council staff about the plan.

Last week a delegation from the chamber revealed it had put together costing for construction of a sandstone wall for $140,000, but council staff dismissed this as "light".

On Tuesday night council was taking the chamber's proposal seriously after criticism from councillors it had dismissed the proposal too quickly.

In a lengthy debate councillors added a number of amendments to Cr McKenna's deferral motion.

Cr Andrew Baker found himself supporting a deferral motion, praising it for its intelligence and thoroughness, but wishing to amend to add more requirements.

Council granted the new deputy mayor a five-minute extension of the normal five-minute limit for speakers.

By the time he was finished the five-point motion had swelled to seven.

When council voted to accept the deferral until the October meeting it met with the approval of one member of the gallery - Chamber of Commerce president John Riggall.

"It's a huge step forward. Too often in the past good ideas are quelled for the wrong reason," Mr Riggall said.

"It is a good enough plan for the council to look at it seriously."

Cr McKenna said the decision could be a great one for Maclean.

"Using the chamber's costings as a guide, council could end up having the local quarry supply the blocks and local contractors carrying out the work," Cr McKenna said.

She was also confident deferring the motion should not delay construction.

"The original start date has been delayed till after the Highland Gathering (Easter)," Cr McKenna said.