In recent weeks, concerns regarding the proposed Orange domestic violence refuge have been raised, and I seek to highlight how the Development Application has comprehensively addressed those particular concerns and met compliance on all counts.
It is worth noting that the usual display time frame for public review of a DA is two weeks, and in this case, the application was available for review for a total of five weeks.
The following points are taken from the DA:
2.3: The site is staffed on a 24-hour basis.
2.4: Secure fencing along all boundaries.
3.4: Future development within the adjacent lots is intended to serve as a buffer between the centre and existing residential development.
4.1.1: There are no aspects of the proposed development that are averse to zoning; the DA meets building type permissibility definitions.
MAP: Where is proposed site of the crisis centre …
4.3.2: The streetscape is designed to encourage pedestrian access and future development within the adjacent vacant lots is intended to serve as a buffer between the proposed centre and the existing residential development in George Wiley Place; adequate driver and pedestrian sight lines will be achieved so that vehicles entering and exiting the site are visible to pedestrians and vice versa; garages and car parks are sited and designed so that they do not dominate the street frontage; the DA can be demonstrated to achieve a reasonable presentation to the Northern Distributor Road.
4.3.9: Noise Impact Statement has been prepared; DA addresses privacy to adjoining land, privacy within the development and acoustic privacy (4.3.10).
4.3.11: Security controls include: surveillance (sight lines, sensor lighting, car registration recognition equipment, surveillance cameras); access control (gate/fencing, single monitored entry point); territorial reinforcement and space management (public access areas are well defined, design may facilitate easy detection of potential offenders, surveillance cameras will be provided for each unit as well as the main building and all the grounds and surrounding paths/streets).
4.3.12: Area is serviced by public bus routes and within reasonable taxi range. Housing Plus also offer transport support.
4.3.14: Total parking requirement of 20 car spaces has been identified.
4.4 and 4.5: There is no signage proposed by this application; DA complies with all planning outcomes of Orange Development Control Plan 2004.
4.7.2: Traffic Impacts: Not all occupants will own a vehicle; Housing Plus provides transport assistance; families that are seeking refuge from DV are less likely to come and go on a regular basis; units would not be occupied 100 per cent of the time. Traffic Impacts section is extensive within the DA and articulates requirements under the Roads and Maritime Service Environmental Capacity recommendations, with which it “easily complies”. The footpath will be made wide enough to allow two-way passing of vehicles if required.
4.7.3: Proposed development is sited so that it does not have a direct interface with existing residential development; the occupants are actually victims, not perpetrators, of crime or poor behaviour. Based on current Housing Plus experience in Orange and other centres, perpetrators are largely deterred because in many cases they have been interviewed by Police, are in custody and some may have Orders in place (e.g. probation), which if ignored, constitutes a criminal offence. Women and children will be seeking refuge and are likely to confine themselves largely to the centre. Occupants generally stay short term until longer term housing solutions can be found.
I suggest that the issues raised in the public sphere in recent weeks regarding the Orange domestic violence refuge have been conclusively addressed in the development application.
4.8: There are no aspects of the site to indicate that it would not be suitable for the proposed development, given considerations within the DA.
4.10: It is in the broader public interest to provide a centre which offers support to those affected by domestic violence.
5.10: Proposed development complies with all relevant standards and regulations – there are no aspects of the development that warrant refusal.
It’s important, too, to recognise the time-sensitive nature of the funding for the centre. The process to arrange a different access to the site would take around three months, and with state and federal funding attached, this could see the development in jeopardy due to governments entering caretaker mode in the lead up to elections.
And funding for the project is contingent on the centre being completed by the end of the year. Additional funding for an alternative access may not be forthcoming. There is no such facility in Orange and victims of family and domestic violence are forced to flee to other communities.
I suggest that the issues raised in the public sphere in recent weeks regarding the Orange domestic violence refuge have been conclusively addressed in the development application – which can be viewed on the Orange City Council website at www.orange.nsw.gov.au.
I encourage members of the Orange public to contact their council to voice their support for the proposal.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS AND VIEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …