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Orange's ''pretty tasteful" new suburb will have large and small blocks and possibly units

March 1, 2023

A map of the development site. Supplied.

By Peter Holmes


A new suburb with 200 to 230 blocks is slated for development in Orange, with at least one in five properties to be put aside for affordable housing aimed at low to middle income earners.


The 18-hectare estate - currently vacant, council-owned land near the Homemaker Centre - would contain a mix of block sizes and property styles and may include apartments.

Around 30 state government and council representatives, councillors and media gathered at Redmond Place near the proposed development site on Wednesday morning for the announcement.


Orange City Council CEO David Waddell, Orange mayor Jason Hamling and Landcom CEO Alexander Wendler all spoke before taking questions.



“This is an entrance site to the city,” said Waddell. “We’d like to see a pretty tasteful-looking suburb with a mixture of housing.

“We’ve done the same in Shiralee - we want to see small houses, big houses, perhaps a couple of unit developments, so you don’t just end up with a mono-culture of vanilla-looking houses.”


Waddell said that Orange City Council’s “part of the deal is to provide the land and over the next year work with Landcom to do a master plan and feasibility where council gets a long-term return, not necessarily a great return, but a return that is good for the ratepayers”.


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“We both have to make a return, but the good thing with Landcom is they don’t want quick returns, they’re not like a normal developer,” Waddell said.


Landcom is an arm of the state government responsible for building affordable and sustainable housing developments. It does not deal with social housing.

CEO Alexander Wendler described Landcom as a “commercial business”.


Part of the development site. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

“We develop land that achieves public outcomes, but also financial benefit for the people of NSW.”


He said Landcom had built more than 100,000 houses in 46 years, and that the proposed site was just the first in a series of developments in Orange that would see a partnership between council and Landcom.




“I’m looking forward to working with Orange City Council to develop this site with a particular focus on affordability and diversity of housing,” Wendler said.


Waddell described affordable housing as “one of the key issues for the city”.


“We look forward to really working on a build-able project in the next year or two, and seeing these houses built.”


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He said OCC staff would “work with Landcom to master plan and design this site over yonder on Dairy Creek Road. It will yield about 200, 230 lots. With Landcom we will effectively design and build a suburb."




At this point only a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between Orange City Council and Landcom.


There is no timeline on when construction may begin and end. Wendler would not comment on whether the development would be built and sold - or rented - in stages or one go.

He said Landcom often worked with community housing providers to operate the rentals.

With multiple approvals required to rezone the OCC land - currently rural with sheep grazing on it - and then subdivide and build the infrastructure, it is likely the project wouldn’t be completed for several years.


Back row L-R: Councillors Tony Mileto, David Mallard, Jack Evans and Mel McDonell; front row L-R: Landcom CEO Alexander Wendler, council CEO David Waddell, mayor Jason Hamling and councillor Frances Kinghorne. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.


There are many questions that won’t be answered for some time. Who qualifies for affordable housing? Who builds the properties? Who owns them? Who manages them? Can people buy and sell the affordable housing, or only rent? Would the development have a name?


Mayor Jason Hamling said a question about whether the development would be named as a new suburb was putting the cart before the horse.


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