PUBLIC pressure has forced Orange councillors to reject a proposal to rezone land in Orange’s north and drop the minimum lot size to create 27 blocks of 4000 square metres each to top up the city’s supply of vacant land.
The change at Ploughmans Valley was earmarked as part of a major amendment to the local environment plan (LEP) to open up stretches of land around Orange for housing.
Council received one submission calling for the lots to be subdivided down to 10,000 square metre (one hectare) blocks.
At Tuesday’s council meeting 13 residents spoke out against the changes for the land bordered by Murphy Lane, Molong Road, Ploughmans Creek, the northern distributor, Manning Road and Gorman Road, while others were involved in ongoing meetings with the council.
Most live on five acre (20,000 square metre) blocks in the area purchased to take advantage of the peaceful rural setting.
Murphy Lane resident Mick Gray said he and his family got a surprise when they found out the rezoning was proposed after moving to a five acre lifestyle block in June.
He believed the pressure from residents made the council take notice.
“To be fair to council they were just looking at every bit of lifestyle residential land that could be changed,” he said.
Although he is pleased the councillors decided against the rezoning he believes the land may be looked at again.
“You can never say never it depends on how fast Orange is growing,” he said.
“You won’t be able to stop urban sprawl completely.”
Long term Gorman Road resident Cathy Laughton said she also believed rezoning for the area would come up again.
“I wish they could just put a cross on it,” she said.
“We’ve been out there for over 21 years and I didn’t think this would happen.
“People buy out there and expect to stay as it is.”
Mayor John Davis praised the rejection of the rezoning as a good result.
“It’s a five acre precinct and it’s staying defined as a five acre blocks,” he said.
“It shows the system works.”