Residents who live near the proposed site for Orange’s long-awaited crisis centre to temporarily house domestic violence victims are preparing to fight the plan.
About 50 people met in George Weily Place on Sunday morning to voice their concerns about the development.
Housing Plus has obtained government and community funding for the project, which will cost about $3 million after a long campaign.
However residents around the proposed site near the corner of The Escort Way and the Northern Distributor Road said it was being placed in the wrong location.
Ploughmans Hill Community Group member Trevor Heane said there were a number of factors concerning residents.
“It’s an inappropriate location for that type of facility,” he said.
“It’s a great facility in the wrong place.”
He said he was concerned the perpetrators of domestic violence would come to the area seeking the victims.
“We will have the problem of the abusers tracking them down and who knows what they will do,” he said.
Mr Heane said there were also fears the transitional residential facility would also be used to house a range of parolees just out jail.
“No one will give us guarantees that won’t happen,” he said.
He said the community group numbered about 300 people and various members had been in contact with Orange City councillors and the member for Orange Phil Donato to voice their concerns.
Orange has twice the state average of domestic violence, which is an atrocious statistic to have. We are in desperate need of a crisis facility.Phil Donato, member for Orange
Mr Heane said they were also concerned council had publicly advertised the development over the Christmas holiday period and had not agreed to requests to extend the exhibition period.
“They advertised it about two weeks before Christmas hoping that people wouldn’t pick up on that,” he said.
“A lot of people did not know until a few of the locals started spruiking about it.”
The period for public exhibition of the plans ends this Friday.
Mr Heane said the centre should be located within walking distance of the CBD to provide access to shops and facilities for residents and visitors to the facility.
He said he was also concerned the entrance to the centre came off George Weily Place, which was narrow.
“The width of the road is inappropriate,” he said.
“There is insufficient parking facilities on the site. It’s going to be a nightmare for parking.”
Residents are also worried the centre is near children.
They said the Trinity Pre-School was only about 300 metres away.
Residents also said they feared there would be all-night flood-lighting for security.
Mr Donato said he had told residents who had contacted him it was a planning matter before the council.
“It is a matter for Housing Plus and council in regards to the site,” he said.
He said the crisis centre was vital for Orange.
READ MORE: Victim urges others to seek police help
“Orange has twice the state average of domestic violence, which is an atrocious statistic to have. We are in desperate need of a crisis facility,” he said.
Mr Donato said the centre needed to be in a residential area to assist the victims.
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