ORANGE City Council’s five new councillors could decide the fate of an unmanned motel proposed for Dalton Street at tonight’s meeting, two months after the developer appealed its refusal.
The controversial 36 room development was knocked back by council in May, despite staff recommending its approval, because of safety concerns for the neighbouring childcare centre and the security implications of having unstaffed accommodation.
Since then, developer Bryce McDougall has made changes to the proposal including employing someone on call 15 minutes away from the motel, reducing the building’s height, and giving council the option of ordering a fence to ease concerns about child safety.
He hopes the changes will mean the verdict is reconsidered, after earlier saying he would take the decision to the Land and Environment Court if the refusal was not overturned.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed that they take [the changes] onboard,” he said.
“It’s well and truly compliant with council requirements.”
“I don’t want to have to spend more money in the Land and Environment court ... and it’s not fair for ratepayers.”
The proposal attracted seven objections from neighbours calling for the application not to be approved.
Mr McDougall acknowledged that the changes made to the application were unlikely to sway the opinion of objectors.
He said he had since met with mayor John Davis and deputy mayor Jeff Whitton with both “a lot more supportive” of the proposal.
Members of the public will have the opportunity to speak regarding the motel at a forum prior to the meeting.