by Bill North
FOUR years of consultation and planning has come to fruition with a proposed motel development in Maclean set to become a reality.
Maclean Bowling Club has explored the idea of building a motel on land adjacent to the club which was used as a lawns bowls green commonly referred to as the club's top green.
After numerous meetings with banks, builders, consultants and Clarence Valley Council, the club's president Desmond Johnson turned the first sod of dirt on the old green, where the motel will be built.
The motel will be built to a four star-standard and will consist of 23 standard rooms, two family rooms and two disabled rooms as well as an on-site manager's residence.
The club's secretary manager Mark Williams said Maclean's accessibility from the Pacific Highway made it an attractive destination for travellers.
"It provides a very attractive alternative to the highway motels to the north and south of the town," Mr Williams said.
"The proposed highway deviation will increase the accessibility to Maclean, to the detriment of Grafton and Ulmarra."
Mr Williams also stressed that Maclean is not perceived as a holiday destination, although it does attract some holiday makers.
"The Clarence River is an under-utilised and under-promoted asset that could be used to significantly build visitation to Maclean," he said.
"The club's motel development should help to change perceptions and build tourism within the town.
"The club's Board of Directors endorse the motel development and firmly agree that this diversification of the club's business will ensure the club's future for generations to come.
"This coupled with the decision to engage a local family company to build the motel will only enhance the club's reputation as a community minded organisation."
Tenders to build the motel were called in late 2015 and local builder Rojo Constructions was awarded the contract. Principal builder for Rojo, Rob Connolly, is confident of completing the project within the 45-week timeframe.