ONE of Orange’s largest central business district developments could be given the go-ahead as early as next month if the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) approves Orange Ex-Services’ Club’s $25 million expansion.
Orange City councillors supported the multistorey development at Monday’s sustainable development committee (SDC) meeting, but also agreed to make a submission to the panel reiterating concerns about the impact on the neighbouring Memorial Hall in Anson Street.
The assessment by council staff recommends the planning panel enforce a condition on the club forcing them to amend plans and keep the side extension in line with the hall to minimise the impact on the heritage building.
“It’s one of the biggest developments we’ve seen in this town for a long time,” development services director David Waddell said.
“It’s an interesting development because it’s so big. The issues we’ve had to grapple with are streetscape and how it would fit in with the heritage of the area.
“It’s almost a regional proposal given its size.”
Sixty-three public car spaces the council leases from the club on Sale Street will be lost following the redevelopment, but Mr Waddell said the majority of the public were members of the club and would be able to access the 750 off-street car spaces.
“It is a bit of a concern because we don’t have that many car parks,” he said.
“Council would need to look closely at how we replace them.”
In a submission to council, police from the Canobolas Local Area Command acknowledged the “high density” of malicious damage in the CBD could not be linked to the club, but asked for the city’s CCTV camera coverage to be extended to the club’s Byng Street street frontage.
“Police believe that this development may increase the rates of malicious damage due to increased number of patrons,” the police submission said.
“Police do not expect the development to increase the incidence of alcohol-related assaults within the Orange CBD.”
Mr Waddell said consideration of more CCTV cameras would be a separate matter for council to look at after the JRPP makes a decision about the development.
He said there had been concerns about the “missing tooth” on the Sale Street streetscape that would now be filled by the development’s four-storey car park.
While he acknowledged council would have preferred a more active street frontage, such as the gymnasium instead of the car park, he said there was an opportunity for the mesh screen car park exterior to be landscaped with vertical gardens.
Overall Mr Waddell said the club had been very responsive to suggestions from council, including a request for the development to be pushed back several metres on the Byng Street side.
The development was also designed so all street trees could be retained.