DPI plans claim work will create $98 million economic boost for Orange

Construction of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) offices on the old base hospital site will boost the Orange economy by $98 million.

That’s the projection contained in the development application (DA) for the four-storey complex that went on display at the Orange City Council offices on Friday.

New drawings of the proposed complex show subtle differences with darker trimmings to the building when compared to the initial sketches presented at the announcement of the new site back in July.

The DA outlines the projected economic benefits that would flow from its construction.

“The project is valued at $55 million which, through industry multipliers, will generate a $98 million stimulus to the local economy,” it said.

It said there would be an $8.7 million per year flow-on in retail expenditure from the new offices.

The report said 40 jobs would created in planning for the complex and 130 direct jobs in construction.

“The site’s ongoing commercial use also helps fill a void that has existed since the base hospital’s relocation and complements other existing nearby facilities without compromising the primary retail/business role of the Orange town centre,” it said.

The project aims to provide a modern campus-style office complex.

DPI offices development application

The four-storey building will have 8500 square metres of office space and a retail cafe.

The developer, Verde Property Australia, is also planning to convert the former ambulance station into a cafe/restaurant/boutique brewery.

Nearby businesses have expressed concerns the on-site car parking will not be enough for all workers and visitors and will lead to congestion of on-street parking.

However the DA said the 393 on-site car spaces on an underground and multi-level car park, plus 58 bicycle spots and four loading bays, would be sufficient.

The DA also examines noise and traffic levels generated by the complex.

“The development should generate a peak of 386 trips,” it said.

“The development will likely result in an increase in traffic movements when compared to the current use of the site.

“However, this increase is unlikely to have any detrimental impact on the overall performance of the surrounding road network.”

And a heritage report has found the complex would not impact on any heritage sites in the area.

The DA also has a glowing description of the building’s appearance.

“The project aims to provide a modern campus-style office complex of substantial architectural merit,” it said.

It will be on public display at the council offices and on the council website until Friday, September 28.

Council staff will then consider any public submissions before preparing a report for council.

However unlike most DAs in Orange, the council will not have the final say on the development.

Council’s comments will be referred with the DA to the consent authority, the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel, which has the authority because of the capital investment value of the development.

Council will be able to elect two delegates to be on the planning panel.

Construction is expected to start on site early next year.

The DPI is due to move into the completed building in November, 2020 when the lease on its current site in Kite Street expires.

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