THE biggest residential development in the history of Orange received a kick start recently at a scheduled Orange City Council meeting when councillors voted unanimously to start the process calling for tenders for demolition of buildings on the site of the former Orange BaseHospital .
Orange City Council’s general manager Garry Styles said at the meeting, along with the scheduled retention of the former ambulance building on the corner of Anson and Prince Streets, expressions of interest could see the three storey tower of the former hospital retained for redevelopment into apartments.
“It is wonderful to see this (development) is finally happening – it is very exciting,’ Cr Ron Gander told the meeting.
It is expected the tender process will be swift with a plan in place by Christmas to go ahead with demolition.
Cr Russell Turner told the meeting his initial concerns over asbestos which may be present in the tower section have been allayed after discussions with council staff.
Council has prepared a concept plan of the site prepared in brochure form, which shows the potential layout of the land bounded by Sale, Prince, Dalton and Anson Streets.
In that plan the former maternity unit with frontage to Anson Street will be zoned commercial.
The overall concept plan generated for council for a range of sustainable living options shows the total ground floor area of 10,667 metres squared divided into 4 blocks (see illustration).
Block A – Frontage is to Sale Street with options for terrace houses, duplexes and granny flats.
Block B – On the eastern side of Block A, this portion in council’s concept plan is designated for a mix of housing – detached dwellings, terrace houses and granny flats.
Block C – This area between Prince and Dalton Streets incorporates the ‘tower’ complex which was the main area of the old hospital, and council is hoping it can be redeveloped into 20 apartments if there is sufficient investor interest. Other land in this allotment could be used for a variety of residential styles.
Block D- With frontage to Anson Street this lot comprises the historic former ambulance station which is to be retained with council hoping it could attract interest for a “Wine Bar” style development in the two-storey building. The remainder of the lot with frontage to Anson Street is zoned for commercial use potentially for shops, a pharmacy, a newsagent, hairdresser or similar business ventures.
Orange City Council engaged the services of Allen Jack Cottier Architects and Urban Design (AJ&C) to carry out a site assessment and report the potential development of the site.
Part of the brief included council’s aspirations for the site. It is expected investor interest in the site will be strong as the area is just a ten minute walk from the main shopping area of Orange.
With forecast population growth for Orange and an increase in the ‘empty nester’ and elderly age groups, it is expected the variety of dwellings planned for the site will meet the anticipated demand in the future in Orange for smaller sized dwellings.
In revealing its concept plan for the site to council, the architects and designers engaged by council to come up with a concept identified several opportunities for development of the site.
These include maximum orientation to the north for solar access and cross ventilation, the retention of large trees on the site and landscaping for the area facing Sale Street. Other opportunities included in the report included new intermediate street trees along the median of Dalton Street and new mid-block “Mews” style streets to increase street frontage and provide a richer pedestrian network.
Mr Styles said if there is not sufficient investor interest for the conversion of the ‘tower’ building it will be demolished.
The state government has contributed $2 million to council to cover the cost of demolishing buildings on the site.
The former nurse’s quarters and Caldwell House (community health) building owned by NSW Health Infrastructure and located on the western side of Sale Street are not included in the new development plan.