EXPLAINER: Two funeral homes vying for Maclean real estate
IN A strange coincidence, two different funeral home businesses each have their eyes on a piece of Maclean property, located just a few doors from one another. Your questions on these two matters have been answered here:
Will the old Causley Fresh building become a funeral parlour?
At this stage, InvoCare, a multinational funeral home business, has successfully lodged a development application with Clarence Valley Council to establish a funeral home at 68-72 River Street, Maclean.
What are in the DA plans?
The company proposes to develop the building into a funeral home capable of providing funeral and other memorial services, including a chapel with seating for up to 58 people.
The DA also proposes demolition of internal walls and a section of external wall to create a cool room to be used for overnight storage prior to a funeral service. The company said there would not be a mortuary service there.
In addition to chapel and reflection room, a lobby, preparation room and a kitchen, the parking area would be reconfigured to accommodate 16 parking spaces.
InvoCare also said the conducting of funerals would be during operating hours from 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday with the option of booking funerals on Saturdays and Sundays.
Council officers have recommended approval of the development, but the DA received 10 submissions from objectors during the exhibition period.
So, does this mean it will go ahead?
According to Clarence Valley Council, the DA has been approved. Whether or not the business goes ahead with the purchase is yet to be confirmed.
I heard that the Maclean RSL club will become a funeral parlour. Is that true?
It is only in the very early stages of a potential purchase. An offer of $1.3 million has been made on the property, which the Maclean RSL club have accepted. However, there are several more hurdles between the two parties before anything is set in stone.
Who made this offer to the Maclean RSL club?
Riverview Funerals owner Hope Bennett.
Has the property been officially purchased by the funeral parlour?
No, it hasn't. The sale is subject to development application approval for a change in business operating from the property. In other words, if the DA doesn't get approval, then the sale will not go ahead.
It's important to note that while awaiting the DA outcome, technically the property is still up for sale. This means another buyer can come forward at any time during this process to make an offer and outbid the funeral parlour.
Why is Maclean Services Club selling their place?
Maclean Services Club and Maclean RSL sub-branch are two separate entities. It's understood the RSL own the property while the Services Club lease the premises.
In April 2019, Maclean RSL sub-branch members voted to sell the premises and were open to all offers. The Maclean Services Club did not make an offer to purchase the property until after the offer by the funeral home was made.
What will happen to our returned service men and women after the sale goes through?
Maclean Services Club would have been entitled to operate the club until April 30, 2022. However, it has since gone into voluntary administration.
In a letter written by sub-branch president Stephen Walton and sent to all members, "the Maclean Sub-branch has supported local veterans for over 90 years and our intention is to continue doing so by establishing a veterans centre in the town."
Furthermore, "the proceeds of a sale will be retained by the local sub-branch and as a charity those funds will be invested for the long-term benefit of Maclean's veterans".
Where is the DA up to now?
This development application is currently in progress. Adjoining landholders have been notified of the proposal. The earliest this will go to a Council meeting will be in August, 2020.
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