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First step taken in multi-stage Hotel Canobolas redevelopment

February 20, 2023

By Peter Holmes

A multi-storey car park; a reconfigured and enlarged cocktail bar, lounge and enclosed verandah on the first floor; a renovated back lane with art and a new entrance; an artisan providore; offices; and updated accommodation, are all part of a grand plan to redevelop the historic Hotel Canobolas.

The owners of the hotel have taken the first step, lodging a development application (DA) with Orange City Council.

The application for the first stage of the redevelopment would increase bar, restaurant, entertainment and function areas by 183 square metres.

“The proposed works are internal and are confined to small sections of the ground floor and the front section of the first floor,” stated the DA. “The external appearance of the building will not be altered when viewed from surrounding streets.”

The DA said the proposed works “are seen as the first stage of a much broader vision to upgrade the Hotel Canobolas”.

The works proposed by this DA are:

  • Reconfigure and enlarge the cocktail bar, lounge and enclosed verandah in the front section of the first floor. The cocktail bar and lounge at the north eastern corner would be “reconfigured and improved”. This would involve removal of stud walls; installation of a new service bar; installation of bar fixtures; installation of fixed seating; and reinstatement of the fireplace along the eastern wall;

The Nob. Facebook.

  • Demolish a non-original lightweight structure (previously used as a Thai kitchen) in the central courtyard;

  • Reconfigure the existing toilets on the first floor (near the cocktail bar/lounge) to provide upgraded toilets (including ambulant and accessible facilities) and an office for the hotel manager;

  • Convert existing storerooms at the rear of the ground floor to provide new wet store/cold room;

  • Upgrade existing toilets at the rear of the ground floor to provide improved staff facilities;

  • Convert six former accommodation rooms at the rear of the ground floor to utility rooms to support the hotel operation (storage, services and staff lockers);

  • Remove a storage area on the ground floor and add this space back into the dining room, and;

  • Add skylights and larger windows to the lean-to structure in the courtyard.

A list of future plans for the Hotel Canobolas, per DA to Orange City Council.

The Hotel Canobolas is a three-storey building on the corner of Summer Street and Lords Place.

The DA stated: “The ground floor of the building is dominated by the hotel bar, dining and courtyard areas plus shops that face onto Summer Street and Lords Place.

“The first floor comprises the cocktail bar and lounge; a ballroom; and accommodation rooms. The second floor of the building is used predominantly for accommodation.

“Off street parking is available at the rear of the building. Vehicle access is provided via driveways off McNamara Street and Lords Place.”

Under planning rules, the development must include one new car parking spot for every 25 square metres of new bar, restaurant, entertainment or function area space.

The proposed increase of 183 square metres would generate the need for an additional 7.32 car parking spaces.

However the DA stated the increased need for parking “would be offset” by the removal of the existing manager’s flat and a guest accommodation suite, and the “formal surrender” of six rooms previously used for accommodation, to be converted into utility rooms.

“In summary, the proposal would not increase parking demand,” it stated. “It is also worth noting that as part of the future broader vision for the Hotel Canobolas:
  • “Some of the existing accommodation rooms (presently without ensuites) on the first and second floors are intended to be renovated and provided with their own ensuites. In effect this will reduce the number of accommodation rooms (and therefore parking demand) overall.

  • “Additional parking (possibly multi-level) is intended to be provided at the rear of the site.”

According to architectural drawings, the long-term plan for the Hotel Canobolas is to “activate laneway with improved materials, lighting and artworks” and “restore old boiler room to become artisan providore”.

The application is on public exhibition at Orange City Council until March 2, 2023. You can see it online here.


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