Development at car park stalls

OWNERS of businesses backing onto the Anson Street car park and heritage advocates will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief when they hear the multi-million dollar redevelopment won’t be going ahead any time soon.

Orange City Council put together an impressive package when they unveiled the concept plans showing the site’s potential last year.

And with all the groundwork done you would think it would have been an attractive proposal to the right investor.

But unfortunately like everyone the council is at the mercy of the markets and the retail industry is hardly booming as it copes with major changes to the way people spend their money.

The proposal created some waves last year, but there is no doubt the staff involved put in the hard yards to try to please everyone.

Although the plans weren’t perfect, council really should be applauded for taking charge of the site and, as corporate and commercial services director Kathy Woolley said, setting the bar high.

All too often developments get the go ahead that appear to be at odds with what the community or the council wants.

In this case it was made clear to everyone what the site could become so there should be no surprises if or when it comes to fruition.

The development appears to have hit a fairly significant hurdle, which may please its objectors, but it is certainly not over yet with council planning to re-advertise the proposal in the future.

Some would say the redevelopment is not a necessity as Orange is well-catered for in retail, and even parking is not as bad as it is made out to be.

But no-one can deny that the Anson Street car park and the ant-trail between Woolworths and the Orange City Centre is a logistical nightmare for pedestrian and vehicle access and lives up to the cliche of an accident waiting to happen every day, meaning it is vital something changes sooner rather than later.

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