THE owner of vacant land on the corner of Farrell Road and Telopea Way, opposite the troubled site earmarked for a second McDonald’s, is again attempting to have the land rezoned to allow for a KFC and service station, despite being rebuffed by Orange City Council staff.
A town planner acting for Garfield Road Holdings Pty Ltd asked council staff to rezone the land for a highway service centre late last year.
Council staff wrote back outlining concerns and inadequacies in the proposal including the impact on traffic and the future of the central business district, the minimal investigation into demand for the development, and the lack of consultation.
The owner withdrew the rezoning request but has now put it back on the table with extra traffic information.
Councillors will decide tonight if they should follow staff recommendations to reject the rezoning because it is beyond the commercial needs of north Orange when two alternative sites at the Leeds Parade/Northern Distributor Road intersection are available.
Councillor Neil Jones said he hoped his fellow councillors rejected the proposal based on the staff concerns.
“Council deliberately and quite correctly zoned a large area of land around Leeds Parade as tourist infrastructure, that’s the area where it’s considerably better suited,” he said.
“It really concerns me that these people have come back to council again with a rezoning proposal.”
If councillors knock back the rezoning the owner will have 40 days to ask the Department of Planning to review the decision.
But council would be consulted, and if the department finds the proposal has merit it will be back in council’s hands.
The service station is proposed for the corner of the site with entry via Telopea Way and exit onto Farrell Road, and the KFC will be behind it with entry and exit from Telopea Way, according to a traffic consultant’s report submitted by the applicant.
It found the intersections would continue to operate at the existing levels of service even with the extra traffic generated.
KFC development manager Andrew Deane said alternative sites for a second KFC in the Summer Street shopping precinct and Narrambla business park area had been assessed, in a letter supporting the rezoning.
“After reviewing the different options, the Telopea Way site was preferred due to the close proximity to the population growth area of north Orange, north Orange Marketplace for Woolworths, the proposed new McDonald’s and the north Orange bypass,” he said.
Mr Deane said 51 per cent of 455 customers surveyed in the existing store in May and September 2012 said they would use a KFC at Telopea Way.
The site’s owner could not be reached for comment.