POLL: Speak now to avoid suburban mayhem

ORANGE residents keen to have their say about the city’s expansion will be given an opportunity at this week’s public forum on designing better suburbs and homes for a sustainable future.

Bathurst architect Tony McBurney, who is also working with Orange City Council to develop a new suburb in south Orange, will address the forum organised by the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) .

ECCO member and Orange councillor Neil Jones said the event was timely in light of the ongoing rapid expansion of Orange’s northern suburbs and the upcoming south Orange development.

“It [the forum] will provide an opportunity for the community to better understand how we can design our new suburbs and homes for improved environmental, economic and social benefits,” he said.

“A lot of people are mindful of the issues we’ve had in north Orange with everything looking the same, so this is a chance for the community to talk about innovative urban design.”

Cr Jones said he expects residents to discuss a range of interesting and sometimes controversial issues at the forum.

“Do we want Orange’s new suburbs to be dominated by supersized houses on treeless blocks of land, imprisoned by Colorbond fences? Can we build more affordable energy efficient, environmentally friendly homes? And how do we get the right balance between low, medium and high density housing?” Cr Jones said.

Cr Jones said Mr McBurney will be identifying planning and design principles that can influence house design,  use of renewable energy, passive cooling and heating, street layouts, residential density, the footprint of buildings on residential blocks of land, and landscaping, and how these principles could be embedded in the council’s development control plan and planning guidelines.

The forum starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday, February 26, at the Environmental Learning Facility (ELF), at the Orange Showground.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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