Heritage buildings at Bloomfield should be converted into housing for students and health workers, a state government department has proposed.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's Housing and Property Group said the buildings could be re-purposed.
The plan was part of the DPIE-Western NSW Local Health District submission to Orange City Council following the public exhibition of council's Health and Innovation Precinct masterplan.
It has been recommended council adopt the masterplan after it received 11 submissions, all in favour.
The DPIE-WNSWLHD submission also said an area for independent aged care living at Bloomfield was "incompatable" with the other uses and called for a designated sporting and recreation zone to be moved. It has called for a meeting between council and the WNSWLHD.
The state government's Transport for NSW submission said Forest Road would see greater use and planning was needed for its future.
"It is critical that public transport (including future planning) is catered for and that pedestrian and cyclist modes of transport are appropriately catered for," it said. The department also sought a meeting with council.
Charles Sturt University said it had a "long-term vision" to relocate its health facilities from its Orange campus to Bloomfield.
"[CSU] suggests that there should be a stronger presence in the master plan for the Joint Program in Medicine and the Bloomfield Learning and Research Centre," it said.
The Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange group backed plans for walking and cycling tracks in the precinct however it was concerned about the impact on the environment.
"[ECCO] want assurance that rezoning will not impact on the environmental areas (fauna and flora)," it said.
The Orange Field Naturalist and Conservation Society said it was concerned about water security and no mention of climate change in the masterplan.
It said the planning needed to ensure there was adequate parking in the area.
A report to council said the masterplan had strong support from the submissions.
It said Forest Road would need to be upgraded to a 'main street destination' connecting the roads throughout the precinct.
It also called for more public transport with a free bus service to the Orange railway station.
The report said the next steps would involve council working with the area's stakeholders to develop the plans. "While Council will have a regulatory and supportive role in future developments others will drive and own infrastructure expansion," it said.
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