SHIRALEE residents have voiced their concerns about Orange’s future southern suburb, saying the small lots are out of character and current road infrastructure will not be able to cope.
Thirty-five residents gathered at Emus Rugby Club last week to discuss the proposal, demanding additional information and an extra month to comment.
Cherrywood Close resident Tony Reppen, who acted as a facilitator to encourage discussion at the meeting, said the residents were not against the 1600-lot subdivision, but the compact lots were too small.
“The concept is a rural subdivision, but when they group these homes together, it takes away the atmosphere,” he said.
Shiralee Road resident Lyn Stannus said the council set the minimum lot size at 800 square metres in 2012.
“Now it’s 200 square metres and there’s hundreds of these compact blocks,” she said.
“The garages will be out the back, accessed off a laneway, so we’ll need double the road infrastructure.”
Another Cherrywood Close resident, Gregson Edwards, said Woodward and Cecil roads would become the preferred access points for people travelling to the subdivision from the CBD.
“It’s a blind crest,” he said of the railway crossing at Woodward Road.
“People go far too fast and become airborne. I would regard it as very dangerous.”
Mr Edwards said Cecil Road featured only a single-lane bridge and would cause bottlenecks as traffic increased.
A council representative was invited, but miscommunication about the meeting time meant a staff member did not attend.
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the draft Shiralee Village Masterplan contained diverse lot sizes up to five acres and creating a village setting within walking distance of affordable housing options was a key part of the proposal.
“While that approach has support of some landholders, now is the time for any members of the Orange community to have their say,” he said.
“The council cannot continue to sprawl standard lot sizes into the countryside forever.”
Mr Reeder said the development would evolve gradually over the next 20-40 years.
“The council believes the rail bridge at Cecil Road and the level crossing at Woodward Street are adequate for current traffic,” he said.
“As the amount of traffic increases over the years, the council will look to address those needs.”
The public consultation period has been extended to Monday, June 16.