'Over-development of the site': Newstead infill creates heritage, stormwater concerns

Nine homes planned for the greens at the former Newstead Bowling Club are unlikely to proceed due to heritage and stormwater concerns from Orange City Council.

Developer Newstead Property Nominees has proposed the $3.5 million development front Kite Street, to the rear of the homestead. 

The block would be subdivided into four Torrens title lots – one for Newstead, two for houses and a battleaxe lot for seven small houses.

The battleaxe lot would then be subdivided into community title lots. 

But the concern surrounded the two individual houses, described as detached, single storey contemporary-style dwellings with attached double garages – the garage design is contrary to the council’s infill development policy, which requires garages not to dominate important heritage street frontages. 

In addition to Newstead, Mena and Sir Charles and Lady Cutler’s former home are directly opposite. 

Staff also found the location of one house had no relationship with the mansion, while the other blocked views of it. 

“[It] will have the effect of crowding the setting of the heritage item,” the report said.

“Compliance with the infill guidelines and the other relevant aspects of council’s planning provisions could be achieved if not for the number, size, design and layout of the proposed dwellings.

“Accordingly, the development is considered to be an over development of the site.”

Stormwater emerged as another issue, with staff concerned runoff would fill the backyards of two of the dwellings to a depth of 20 centimetres up to twice a year, while drainage works to address the issue could damage one of the large Deodar cedars on Kite Street. 

“The proposed stormwater solution, whilst acceptable from an engineering point of view, is considered undesirable from a residential amenity perspective, with the likelihood of prospective purchasers of these properties being unaware that their private open space will be inundated with the development's stormwater on a regular basis,” the report said. 

However staff noted units were not opposed at the site and had suggested ways to redesign the plan to comply with heritage requirements.

Twenty-six submissions were sent to the council across three public exhibition periods.

Meanwhile, the applicant has applied to rezone the homestead site from general residential to mixed use to cater for a future restaurant, bar, office space and boutique shops.

The council gave the go-ahead for the proposal to proceed to the state government in September 2015 but following public consultation, the council has recommended seeking legal opinion to reduce the height limit and floor space ratio to protect the heritage building. 

Councillors will consider both items at a rescheduled meeting on Thursday night.