Homemakers Centre gets council's tick of approval for extension

DESPITE concerns about its design, Orange City Council has approved an extension to the Orange Grove Homemakers Centre.

The proposal will feature a 4000-square metre bulky goods facility next to Supercheap Auto, which could be broken up into as many as six tenancies.

It will also feature a second 580-square metre building for an extra bulky good shop front and a take-away shop, and an additional 75 car parking spaces.

Council staff raised concerns about the rear of the development facing the Mitchell Highway at Orange’s eastern gateway, as well as the number of roller doors.

Amended plans were submitted, including changes to the roof design, glass panelling, increased setbacks and a landscaping plan, and the application has been recommended for approval.

At council’s meeting on Tuesday, councillor Russell Turner said the measures were not ideal.

“But Woolies in North Orange has a side wall and dock visible from the Northern Distributor Road, so this wouldn’t set a precedent as such,” he said.

“This development won’t win an architectural award, but it will fill a hole that’s been there since the homemaker’s centre was developed.”

Homeless people needing aged care will soon have an extra option, with Orange City Council also approving a Mission Australia aged care facility on Tuesday night.

The not-for-profit organisation lodged a development application earlier this year for a 60-room facility, which will be targeted at elderly people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or too socially or financially disadvantaged to access mainstream aged care services. 

Located between Park Drive and Huntley Road, the rooms will be grouped in four pods, with communal dining and lounge areas, a cafe, activity rooms and 18 car parking spaces.

After council staff raised concerns about the absence of a Bloomfield Precinct master plan to help them assess the proposal, councillor Reg Kidd said he shared their concerns.

“We’ve had issues with parking, access and egress and they have continued to haunt us,” he said.

“I believe there will be other developments because it’s a great precinct, but it shows distain for council processes.”

Extra plantings will be required to cater for native species including the Superb Parrot and the Squirrel Glider.

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