Commercial re-use of heritage buildings at Bloomfield hospital, new residential areas in bushland and free public transport are among proposals revealed in the masterplan for the Orange Health and Innovation Precinct.
The masterplan will be considered by Orange City Council on Tuesday before it goes on public exhibition.
It would see the southern end of Orange, from the Southern Feeder Road to Bloomfield Road, become a major health, sporting, research and residential centre.
Capitalise heritage buildings with heritage walks and possible re-purposing as commercial accommodation.Orange Health and Innovation Precinct report to council
It would encompass the existing public and private hospitals and the Orange Agricultural Institute plus new education and research facilities and commercial and residential areas.
Forest Road would become a 'main street destination' at the centre of the Orange Health Precinct which would also have free public bus connections to the Orange railway station.
The plan includes looking at re-purposing heritage buildings in the Bloomfield Hospital area for commercial use. It also proposes creating residential areas including building on bushland at the corner of Huntley and Bloomfield roads.
A report to council from corporate and community relations manager Nick Redmond said the health was "the key economic driver for the city and region" and it presented possibilities for significant growth.
The state government has paid $50,000 and council $30,000 for the creation of the masterplan.
Mr Redmond said the plan's key findings for the area, which is already earmarked for Orange's $25 million sporting complex, sought to develop a medical and educational precinct with mixed uses including retail, commerce, residential, sports and culture.
"Activate Forest Road and strengthen it as a main street destination connecting the internal road system within the Bloomfield Hospital precinct to the centre of Orange and the southern suburbs, through creation of commercial, public accommodation linking the educational and health precincts through [an] activity hub," he said.
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"Strengthen public transport connection to the railway station through provision of a potential more frequent free bus service for students, senior and access impaired users, as well as new footpath connections. Capitalise heritage buildings with heritage walks and possible re-purposing as commercial accommodation."
The plan found there was a need for more hospital beds and health services in the area including dental and pathology.
"Having regard to future supply additions over the next five years [104 beds from the Orange private hospital], there will still be additional demand for 120 to 230 private hospital beds," it said.
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