A 36-ROOM motel proposed for a battleaxe block in Dalton Street has been described as a “double- storey noise factory” by nearby residents.
They say the development is an accident waiting to happen as it shares a driveway with a neighbouring childcare centre.
The development attracted six objections but was recommended for approval by Orange City Council staff.
A decision will be made at tomorrow’s council meeting.
Resident Ebben Hawkin said the shared driveway was “a recipe for tragedy”.
“How can the developer keep those kids and parents safe when there’s a lot of traffic going in and out of the driveway to access this building?” he said.
Cathy Carroll, the owner of the site and the adjacent childcare centre The Willows, will lease the block for five years to tourism industry veteran Bryce McDougall who plans to install a prefabricated building.
No staff members will be on-site when the motel is operational with guests instead receiving a text message with a room entry code after they book a room.
Residents are concerned the unmanned motel will attract vandalism as well as being noisy and unsafe.
“The fact that the motel is going to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week doesn’t fit with the residential street,” Mr Hawkin said.
Another resident Robyn Smith agreed.
“If they could configure it with not having a shared driveway [it would be safer] but I don’t see how they could do that,” she said.
Mr McDougall, the motel’s operator, said he had done everything he could to minimise potential noise including higher fences and internal hallways, while CCTV cameras will deter vandals.
The residents were also concerned the motel could attract long-term residents such as miners, adding to traffic and noise concerns.
But Mr McDougall said he was targeting business people for overnight stays, as long-term guests would want to negotiate cheaper rates.
“I’d be greatly concerned if I was one of the neighbours but my experience is very different in that I was taught from a young age that if you’re going to do something, do it well,” he said.
The residents were also concerned about the appearance of the “modern” motel which they say isn’t compatible with existing residences and the future of the site when the five year lease runs out.
But Mr McDougall said he hopes to purchase the site and make the motel a long-term venture as he develops an accommodation chain throughout regional NSW.
“I’m leasing to allow a quicker expansion throughout the state,” he said.
The site’s owner Mrs Carroll said she does not intend to sell the site as it may be used for a possible expansion of The Willows if the prefabricated buildings are removed in the future.
“I think it’s an asset for Orange,” she said.
“We feel he [Mr McDougall] is a very reputable person.”