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Third time lucky for massive Prince Street housing development?

March 31, 2023

A design from the new submission.


By Peter Holmes and David Fitzsimons

Three apartments and one townhouse have been removed from the latest architectural designs for the major housing development at 103 Prince Street.

And although the plans are yet to be endorsed by Orange City Council and then formally approved by the Western Regional Planning Panel (WRPP), the developer Maas Properties has told The Orange News Examiner it is confident of starting construction early in the second half of the year on the 76-residence community.

If approved, the multi-storey block of apartments and row of townhouses will be built on the site of the former Orange Base Hospital on Prince Street, bordered by Sale and Dalton streets and the DPIE building.

Maas Property has submitted its third development application (DA) to Orange City Council, after the first two were rejected.

The Orange News Examiner reported on October 29, 2022 that council, which owns the land on which the properties would be built, sought an independent assessment of the second DA from Andrew Crump Town Planning.

The report said the major apartment building needed to be moved back from Prince Street as it was 2.6 metres too close to the road.

It also called for an internal driveway to be included, and that planned access from Sale Street, which would require tree removal, be refused.

The report said up to 12 trees, most in a “green belt” on Sale Street, would be removed under the DA.

The report said at least five of them should be saved, and that some had a life expectancy of up to 50 years.

The report recommended the DA be refused as “the bulk and scale of the residential flat building, with specific reference to the south and west elevations, along with the architectural detailing within the same elevations, combines to present an unsatisfactory design outcome within the street and adversely impacts upon the heritage setting".

Maas Property development manager Nick Whitton told The Orange News Examiner on Friday that the company had removed three apartments and one townhouse from its designs in order to meet council requirements.

He said the latest designs had left some properties with a little less space, and some with more. This meant Maas had to contact every owner to explain the changes and ensure they wanted to proceed with their contract.

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.

Maas Property has also changed the colour of some brickwork, widened access for vehicles and pedestrians, and saved a handful of trees.

One element it has declined to alter related to a BBQ area and public toilet in a strip of green space between the apartment block and the townhouses [more detail below].

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.

"We're pretty confident now," said Whitton. "We've consistently been giving them what they wanted, this is another round of that."

Orange City Council cannot rule on the DA as the development is valued at more than $5 million, however it can make a recommendation to the Western Regional Planning Panel.

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.

Under the plan council would be given a section of the site as a public park.

The DA has been previously amended and has been on public exhibition twice. It is currently on exhibition at the council building on Byng Street.

On November 23, 2022, we reported that Maas Properties had been given three months to change the plans.

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.

The developer was told it needed to widen the common driveway and pedestrian access to “permit two-way traffic flow and provide suitable width for pedestrian use”.

In its latest DA Maas Properties said: “The area includes a 6m wide pedestrian and vehicular shared zone. Safety of the operation of this shared zone includes bollards, traffic calming devices (speed humps), coloured pavement treatments and a 10 km/h speed limit.”

The developer acknowledged that “the public open space is required to have a BBQ area [and] … an amenities building providing a single accessible toilet is also recommended”.

However it said: “BBQ and toilet facilities have not been included in the design. These were discussed early on with Council in the design development phase prior to lodgement.

"The size of the park does not warrant provision of these facilities. Exclusion of these items remove maintenance and servicing requirements for Council…”

The new DA also states that MAAS will replace “the brown face brick corner pier on levels 1-4 with the blue grey face brick. The primary blend nominated as Gertrudis Brown has been retained for the central building and is now complemented by the use of a lighter shade for the built forms on Sale Street and for the eastern wing on Prince Street.”

An image from the resubmitted designs. Supplied.




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