Byng Street court result a "win-win": Davis

LONG-RUNNING SAGA: Clippings on the Byng Street hotel development from lodgement to court action.
LONG-RUNNING SAGA: Clippings on the Byng Street hotel development from lodgement to court action.

REJECTION of the contentious Byng Street boutique hotel development has cost Orange City Council $150,000 in the NSW Land and Environment Court and it is trying to recoup some of the funds.

Almost two years after Denoc Holdings proposed an extension to heritage mansion Yallungah to include 28 rooms, Commissioner Danielle Dickson granted approval for a 22-room hotel, following design changes and two days of hearings. 

Ms Dickson ordered Denoc to keep Yallungah’s stained glass window and staircase, remove the first floor connection to the extension, keep the heritage roof of the original building intact, including screening on the balconies and lower sections of the roof.

“As a result of the joint conferencing, the experts agreed that the design is not of excessive bulk and scale and that a contemporary design with traditional roof forms is compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood character including the existing dwelling,” the judgment said.

But while Orange City Council contended the development appeared bulky from Hill Street, Ms Dickson believed a casual observer would not see the hotel as a single building between the houses on Hill Street.

“I find that whilst the development will be visible in the streetscape it will not have a detrimental impact on the … heritage conservation area,” she said.

The plan of management for the site limits the number of guests to 44 and only they may use the conference and dining rooms. 

Use of the balconies will not be allowed after 10pm.

Mayor John Davis said the councillors who supported the original development had the outcome they wanted, while those who opposed it had won concessions.

“It’s a win-win,” he said.

Opponent Dr Des Mulcahy said it was a better result than the building the council refused last year. 

“We still have a modern motel in the middle of the heritage conservation area,” he said.

The court made no orders on costs, however council spokesman Nick Redmond said the council would try to reclaim some of the funds where amended plans from Denoc had required revision. 

Alleged illegal works will be revised by council staff, with a report to come back to the new council. 

Denoc director David Nock said he was satisfied with the conditions and hoped to start construction by the end of the year.