Not in our street: Boarding house developer confident despite opposition from residents | Photos

A battle between residents and a developer over a 24-room, double-storey boarding house complex planned for March Street is set to come to a head on August 14.

The March Suites new-generation boarding house development on land behind a separate house block is to be considered by Orange City Council’s Planning and Development committee.

Property developer Greg Kings said his development met planning requirements.

“This development complies 100 per cent with the state government policy,” he said.

However, the development has been opposed by some residents, including Sylvia Cleary, with the council receiving 42 submissions from 30 people plus a petition of 173 signatures, all against the plan.

“It doesn’t comply with Orange,” Mrs Cleary said.

Her property backs onto the development site and she said she feared the two-storey complex would overlook her property, block sunshine, lower property values, increase traffic and noise and become a crime risk for the area.

Mrs Cleary said a small committee had been formed to fight the plan.

“We’re just neighbours fighting to save our neighbourhood,” she said. “In the beginning we thought it was just not going to happen, how can it happen in our little area?”

Mrs Cleary said the committee did not believe comments by the developer that the minimum three month-stay rooms would be used by hospital, ambulance, police and other workers.

“It’s not really professional or medical people who would stay there,” she said.

“Our proposed development is allowable in the zoning, particularly that it complies 100 per cent and greater,” he said.

“We’ve over-delivered with everything on this project.

“We’ve worked very closely with council and on feedback. This was a very long consultation process.”

Mr Kings said he had reduced the number of rooms in the plan from 30 to 24 and had provided a car space for every room, when he said the state government legislation on new-generation boarding houses required only one space for every two rooms.

It doesn’t comply with Orange.

Sylvia Cleary, resident

He said the design of the buildings was in keeping with the area.

Mr Kings said similar developments in Sydney had attracted professionals.

“We’ve got doctors, nurses, police, ambulance, all renting this type of accommodation in Sydney.”

“It is very subjective to argue it is not fitting with character of area or improper for area. I’ve had comments from a large number of people and some councillors I’ve spoken too, who have advised they agree and like our development and design.

“This is about providing required affordable alternative housing accommodation to Orange professional staff on employment assignments and the community where there are major alternative housing shortages.

“Unfortunately people make comment on things when they do not have complete informed knowledge or the real facts.”

Mr Kings will attend an Orange City Council planning and development committee meeting next Tuesday where the plan is set to be discussed.

Mrs Cleary and others opposed to the plan will also attend.


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