THE former Thompsons Nursery site on Bathurst Road is set to become a Taco Bell, with a development application submitted for the site.
The proposal, from Coogee-based McDuck Properties, is currently on public exhibition on Orange City Council's website.
The site would be cleared to make way for a metal and timber-clad takeaway outlet seating up to 44 patrons inside and a drive-through.
The car park would provide for 25 cars, including three staff spaces.
Both the Bathurst Road and Eyles Street accesses would be entry and exit points.
The mature trees along Bathurst Road will stay, but one European Nettle tree on Eyles Street would be removed to cater for a driveway and the conifer would be removed from the corner and replaced to improve driver sightlines at the intersection.
McDuck Properties owner Hector Abbott said he knew Orange well as his mother lived in Millthorpe and looked forward to putting the site to commercial use after many years.
"It's consistent with the other businesses along that corridor," he said.
Mr Abbott said amid changing consumer palates due to cooking shows, the franchise had concluded there was a strong market for the product in Orange.
"We have a substantial amount of confidence it's going to pay off," he said.
He said the business would employ 50-70 people in a mix of full-time, part-time and casual positions, which he hoped would help Orange to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
The site was approved for a car wash, cafe and three-lot subdivision in 2014 but it was never completed.
Before that, the Colour City Market Place was approved in 2010, which would have included seven shops, cafes and restaurants surrounding a semi-enclosed forecourt.
Mr Abbott said subject to approval, construction would take between five and six months.
He hoped to have the business operating by March next year.
Council staff are yet to assess the proposal.
Taco Bell started expanding into NSW in September, with two locations already operating and a proposal under assessment in Bathurst.
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