A clear cover over a pedestrian mall in Anson Street will be considered as part of the Future City revitalisation of the Orange CBD.
Orange City Council this week approved the first two stages of the $30 million project with work to start soon.
[This] may help attract a developer that wants to develop the Woolworths car park.Cr Russell Turner
The work includes a $500,000 conversion of part of Anson Street between Summer and Kite streets into a mall with outdoor dining, street furniture, tree planting and gardens.
Cr Jeff Whitton called for a cover over the mall to protect pedestrians from the weather. "Could we look at putting a cover, a perspex cover over it because Orange doesn't always have nice weather," he said.
"In Sydney you see those perspex covers that let the light come through, the warm sun rays. It will encourage more use of the mall in a commercial sense."
Council CEO David Waddell said staff would consider the proposal.
Cr Russell Turner backed the plan and said the mall and other works would rejuvenate the CBD.
"I'm quite confident once we upgrade Anson Street and upgrade other parts of the city it will give the city and people more confidence in the CBD which may help attract a developer that wants to develop the Woolworths car park. "We haven't been able to get a financial developer to do so."
He suggested it might lead to a multi-deck car park with shops underground and housing apartments on top.
Cr Kevin Duffy said he supported the plans but opposed changes to Byng Street near Robertson Park and the Civic Centre.
Cr Duffy said it would create traffic congestion through the area.
It is planned to make the area a shared site for pedestrians and cyclists with less room for cars and rationalised parking.
"I'm not supportive of doing any work in Byng Street," he said. Cr Duffy said Orange was known for its wide tree-lined streets.
"What we are going to do here is cramp it all up," he said.
Other councillors said it had been many years since the CBD had been upgraded and the community would be pleased the rejuvenation was going to happen.
The first year of the Future City project will see the Anson Street mall created.
McNamara Street south of Summer Street will receive a $500,00 makeover including painting graphics on the road, trees planted, new lighting and public art installed and the $1.7 million Byng Street work will start.
The first year will also see major greening works in Lords Place including community, pavement and vertical gardens plus vines and trellises costing $200,000.
Public art will be painted on buildings in the CBD and the overhead lights in Summer Street will be extended from Anson Street to Hill Street.
A $250,000 upgrade of Mathews Park is also planned to increase its mid-week use and in times when the ride-on trains are not in use.
It is proposed a railway/transport theme be adopted for the park.
Council has allocated $5 million for each of the first two stages of the work which also includes programs to support CBD businesses.
That includes offering rental assistance and providing pop-up shops on council-owned land in the form of converted shipping containers to assist businesses set-up in Orange.
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...