A proposal that would allow the option of constructing of a new long-term home for the Department of Primary Industries on the site of the former Orange Base hospital, comes before next week’s meeting of Orange City Council.
 
Tuesday’s meeting will consider a proposal to re-zone the hospital site, so that a new office block and multi-level car-park could be built on the eastern end.
 
Orange Mayor John Davis OAM said this planning proposal was in the early stages.
 
“I know the Orange community has been very keen to see signs of action since the Council bought the hospital site from the NSW Government,” Cr Davis said. 
 
While rezoning of the site was already required to meet some of the principles of the master plan released in 2015 the report before Council on Tuesday also deals with the DPI element.
 
The report also notes that the principles of the master plan will be maintained for the remainder of the site, such as opportunities for higher density living and open space.
 
“The NSW Government’s property division sought expressions of interest for a new site for the department head office. This has led to a developer who wants to build a new home for the DPI approaching the Council. We’re entering into an option agreement to sell part of the block on the eastern end of the site. While the rezoning is worth pursuing, where the DPI finishes up will be a decision for the NSW Government’s property division,” Cr Davis said. 
 
The site is currently zoned to allow a hospital (R3) medium density residential. The proposed new zoning category (B4) mixed use on the eastern end of the site would allow for a large office blocks and multi-level car-park. 
 
“If the Council agrees to explore the re-zoning, it would be just the beginning of the community consultation. There will be opportunities for comment on the rezoning proposal and on subsequent Development Application for new buildings,” Cr Davis said.
 
It’s proposed that the western end of the site would be a mix of R3 (Medium Density Residential) and RE1 (Public Recreation) to allow for open space between residential buildings.
 
Cr Davis said the report to the Council meeting on Tuesday notes that retention of the main multi-story hospital building is no longer intended.
 
“We‘re in the final stages of that settling on the demolition process and we’re hoping to choose a tenderer soon, so that work could begin in the coming months.”
 
The report on the matter can be found on the council website at www.orange.nsw.gov.au