AFTER months on the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel’s website, the Orange Regional Museum has finally gained development approval.
The development application was lodged in January and assessed by Orange City Council staff in March, but was listed for an electronic determination meeting until Monday, when formal approval was granted.
The time taken to finalise paperwork with NSW Trade and Investment crown lands staff for the site caused the extended turnaround.
Orange City Council Museum Working party chair and councillor Neil Jones welcomed the decision.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the Orange community about this project and locals will be delighted that this final stage has been reached,” he said.
“The tenders close early in September and so it’s expected the council will be in a position to award the tender at its meeting in October.
“The lawn-covered roof of this building is going to be a fantastic community landmark in the heart of Orange and I’m looking forward to work getting under way.”
Six construction contractors have been invited to tender for the project.
The first sod is due to be turned in October, which Cr Jones hoped would bolster efforts to raise funds for the museum’s exhibitions.
The museum will cost $8 million to build, including $4 million from the federal government, $1 million from the NSW government for the land, $2 million from council and $1 million from community fund-raising.
The Orange Visitor Information Centre will be moved to the art gallery temporarily from September while its new home is built.
The museum is set to create 31 new jobs in the construction phase and 38 new jobs once complete.