Plans to convert the former Eighteen 70 restaurant into two houses have led a former owner to question heritage rules in Orange.
A development application for the former eatery in the historic building dating back to 1870 is on public exhibition after it was submitted to Orange City Council.
The DA includes a statement that according to heritage advice the bullnose verandah would be replaced with a flat roof because the bullnose was not the original design.
It is also seeking to put a skillion roof on a new building on the site.
However, Christiane Rondeau who owned the building from 1981-2002 and ran the Welcome Inn French restaurant on the site, said she was not allowed to alter the bullnose verandah and roof of the building.
And she said after Orange's big hailstorm of 1986 damaged the metal roofing, the original roof made of shingles, was revealed under the metal.
"When we took the old roof off we exposed the shingles. That's how it was built," she said.
"I am getting a bit confused by it," she said.
Ms Rondeau said the council heritage advice of the day was that the bullnose verandah was part of the building's heritage and had to be kept to the same design.
It breaks my heart. It looks so sad there.Christiane Rondeau, former owner
"I had to replace the tin roof and replace the bullnose as it is," she said.
"They didn't offer to help me at all.
"The insurance [company] said to me, because it was more than 80 years old they would not pay for the full replacement. I had to bear the cost."
Ms Rondeau said she supported the plans to reinvigorate the site.
"Absolutely, restore it and put it back into life," she said.
"It breaks my heart. It looks so sad there.
"It's a lovely building. It has so much history that building."
Ms Rondeau said that included it being on a coach and horses route in its early days as an inn.
And she said there was a special door on the Hill Street site of the building.
"It was a dark room where they would put the drunk people to sleep it off," she said.
The Orange and District Historical Society has found former Central Western Daily articles from 1981 relating to the battle with residents and councillors to convert the site into a restaurant.
Ms Rondeau said the site had three units. "When I bought the building it was in a really bad shape, it was really run down," she said.
However residents objected to the plan with council receiving 10 letters and a petition signed by 91 people.
Their grounds included increased noise in the area, increased traffic at night, a decrease in property values and the threat of drunkeness and vandalism.
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