THE phenomenal population growth in north Orange has been trotted out more than once as an excuse for traffic congestion at the Telopea Way intersection with the bypass or the deterioration in the distributor road’s surface and now national statistics reveal just how popular that burgeoning residential area is.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has identified north Orange as the fastest growing inland area anywhere in the state.
The 2.6 per cent growth rate for the area to the north of the distributor road, is an amazing growth rate away from the coast and indicates council and developers got it pretty right in terms of the supply of blocks and the affordability of land and houses.
But there are, as councillor Neil Jones has said, several lessons to be learned from the north Orange building boom.
Some will need to be applied in the area, and applied quickly.
Others should be front of mind as planning goes ahead on the south Orange master plan.
The congestion in the vicinity of the north Orange shopping centre and Telopea Way traffic lights, soon to be made worse with the construction of a McDonald’s outlet, should be a lesson on the merits of leaving a substantial buffer between strategic intersections and shopping precincts and between land for commercial purposes and residential blocks.
The ABS stats should also prompt council to encourage more community services into the area and seek commitments from the department of education and the non government school sector on plans to cater for the education of the suburb’s children.
With some of the heat going out of the housing market after the peak in mining we may not see such frenetic building activity for a while.
However, north Orange shows the problems which can arise when planners under estimate the popularity of a major subdivision or fail to take a long-term view when looking at road networks and all those services which inevitably follow the houses.