A MISSED opportunity is how the Greens ticket for the upcoming Orange City Council election is viewing the decision to sell part of the old base hospital site to a property developer.
Under the $30m sale, the area will be turned into bespoke townhouses along Dalton Street while the Prince Street side will house 61 apartments with parkland between the buildings.
However David Mallard, who will lead the Greens ticket on December 4, and running partner Haidee Edwards, were disappointed OCC didn't pursue options for more affordable housing for the site.
Dr Mallard said council should have taken action into its own hands.
"Council didn't have to just sell it off without ensuring the delivery of social and affordable homes," he said. "Some people will argue that we should leave it to the market to provide a diversity of housing but the market is clearly not delivering."
Mr Mallard suggested partnering with a community housing provider like Housing Plus would have been an option for the site.
"But in the longer term, our real concern is that other opportunities are being missed."
Dr Mallard said his ticket would push for the placement of an affordable housing contribution scheme that would make sure all future major developments included affordable housing.
"Or the developers will make a contribution in money which council then can direct towards housing affordability."
He said that since February 2019, Council has had the opportunity to develop such a scheme under the State Environmental Planning Policy.
Ms Edwards said she had experience the problem first hand
"In June I got notice the owner was moving back in," she said.
"It took me three months [to find a new home] and it came with a substantial price rise."
Dr Mallard is also considering a tilt at the mayoral role when Orange goes to the polls.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: