Anson Street's large trees look set to be saved from being cut down with the project to be re-assessed.
Orange City Council CEO David Waddell told council's meeting on Tuesday night the level of public opposition to the move had led staff to reconsider the plan.
Nine plane and two white cedar trees were in line to be cut down to make way for a mall in the middle of Anson Street as part of the Orange Future City CBD revamp.
What we need to do is spend some serious time to look for solutions that involve not removing the treesDavid Waddell, CEO, Orange City Council
Mr Waddell said they had listened to feedback at public forums.
"I said to staff let's go back to the drawing board," he said.
"What we need to do is spend some serious time to look for solutions that involve not removing the trees.
"One day we will bring that back to you [the council].
"Of course, as we explained, there will be cost implications, but that's part of the decision."
Mr Waddell said the project was not likely to return to council for some time.
"To be honest I think that will take at least till February to do the technical work," he said.
The issue was not on the council meeting's agenda and no vote was taken on it.
Council has been seeking feedback on the proposal to remove the trees for the past few weeks.
A council statement released on December 1 outlined plans for Anson Street.
It said the trees posed trip hazards, their roots had lifted part of the footpath and they were creating water damage to the adjacent shops.
"As part of the presentation at last week's community forum events, council staff confirmed that it is intended that the block's plane trees would be removed as part of the upgrade," it said.
It said staff had look at options to retain the trees but they would add costs and would not solve the existing problems the trees were creating.
"While the tree removal is within the estimated $1.5 million budget of the total project, other options listed would add $1 million to $1.5 million to the cost of the mall project," it said.
About 80 people attended a rally to oppose the tree removal in Anson Street on December 4.
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