House sent to the drawing board to fix non-heritage roof

DESPITE tensions over heritage at Tuesday night’s Orange City Council meeting, the developer behind an application for a boarding house in McLachlan Street believes a solution is in sight.

Councillors considered a development application for four boarding houses at 122 McLachlan Street, located behind a heritage property recently subdivided from the land.

The buildings would contain a total of 22 self-contained double boarding rooms, communal living rooms and communal balconies, intended for professional tenants for a minimum stay of three months. 

However, council staff and the heritage advisor were concerned the design was incompatible with the surrounding heritage conservation area, particularly the skillion rooflines, preferring pitched roofs and recommending the DA be deferred for redesign.

Developer Greg Kings said the report did not take into account the consultation undertaken with the heritage advisor and planning staff in forming the plans, including the decision not to demolish the cottage, plus discussion with the technical services department about dealing with the floodprone portion of the site.

“We’ve had consultation and feedback from these areas all through this process – the result is what we’ve got and what we’ve presented, which is a very balanced and very workable development for that site,” he said. 

Councillor Russell Turner moved to approve the development because it was located on the edge of the conservation area, heritage was fragmented and a gabled roof would exacerbate overshadowing concerns.

“I believe [Mr Kings has] compromised as much as he can,” he said. 

However most of his colleagues voted it down and deferred the matter because they disagreed the area was fragmented and were concerned the council would not be able to defend an approval if challenged in court.

On Wednesday, Mr Kings said he had met with the council and a pitched roof solution was possible. 

“We’ve got a solution we believe is going to put to rest everybody’s concerns and that’s the important thing.”

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