ORANGE City Council, in its haste to proceed with the tower block in the Woolworths car park, not only broke the unwritten law of local government by voting to provide money for the project to proceed at such a late stage of their term in office, but also signalled the death of many small businesses in the central business district during construction or shortly after.
Council at this stage of its term should be in caretaker mode in regard to large, new projects that will start after the council election. It would have been more prudent of council to pass a resolution recommending that the project should proceed.
In regard to the small businesses in the CBD, they could not sustain the disruption over a long period of time that a building of this magnitude would cause. Then there would be the oversupply of retail and office space to contend with causing the devaluation of properties in the CBD.
We may have had a exceptional population growth in the last few years but with the hospital and mine completed and staffed this growth will not continue leading to a an oversupply of commercial building space for a long period.
On top of this if you take the number of vehicles that will be generated to make this project viable in the long term, how many extra car spaces will be available for the existing businesses? What will this do to the traffic flows in the CBD with a new apartment block and shopping centre?
Using modern building practices with off-site prefabricated concrete columns, beams and floor slabs with extended work hours, two floors of extra parking could be erected with minimum disruption to businesses and provide the parking required.