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New plan to pave way for multi-level apartments in the CBD

By February 11, 2021March 9th, 2021Major DAs, News

Orange City Council wants to guide future development plans for the western end of the former base hospital site in Prince Street, which could include townhouses and a four or five-storey apartment block.

The plan draft a new site-specific development control plan (DCP) for the area, to allow this type of development to go ahead, is on public exhibition for the next 28 days.

An aerial of the former base hospital site, western end.

BIRDS EYE: An aerial of the former base hospital site, western end.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the plan was to ensure a developer created a project on the site in line with Council’s ideas for the area.

“The aim of a Development Control Plan (DCP) is to guide certain types of development, and achieve particular development outcomes within certain areas,” Cr Kidd said.

“The new draft DCP is on exhibition is to change the DCP in order to control the type of housing to be built on the site by a developer once Council seels the site.

“A few years ago Council commissioned a housing strategy to look at the housing market, see what was available and what was lacking. It also looked at whether the city could expand and if so, in which direction.

“One of the key outcomes from that strategy, was a need for more diverse housing options.

“The Orange housing market is really good at providing family homes, brick veneer houses with three bedrooms and a backyard.

“What is lacking are other options like apartments and townhouses, which are the norm in cities across the country.

“We want to create more diverse options for people and this site so close to the CBD is perfect for these types of homes. The western end of the former base hospital site is ideal for exploring attractive and interesting ways in which we can provide medium density housing.”

Council previously engaged an architectural team to create a design strategy and development options for the former base hospital site’s western end bordering Sale, Prince and Dalton St.

Preliminary options for the site in the draft master-plan include:

  • a row of townhouses on the northern end of the site
  • A medium-rise (four-storey) residential flat building on the south
  • A public park between the two residential areas, with playground and entertaining areas
  • A row of mature trees along the western boundary of the site would be maintained both as a private gardens and communal spaces.


Orange City Council’s Planning and Development Committee Chair Russell Turner said the community had 28 days to consider this proposed change and then the matter would return to the Council for consideration.

“We’re after community submissions on specific planning elements, such as the bulk and scale of apartment buildings a developer would construct on the site,” Cr Turner said.

“Additionally, the draft DCP sets rules about the public park in the centre of the site.

“The park will provide key linkages from the DPIE site and acts as an extension of the natural buffer to the west of the site.

“The community at large as well as the DPIE workers and the residents of the new buildings will all benefit from the recreation areas and there could be opportunities for more play spaces near the centre of town.”

Once the DCP is adopted, Council will go ahead with the sale of the site.

The plans are online at Orange City Council’s website and the deadline for submissions is March 12, 2021.

Council will also host a community information session where staff will be available to answer any questions the community has about the proposal. The date for the community information session March 8, at Orange City Council Chambers, from 5.30pm.

Please RSVP to [email protected]

*An earlier version of this story said the forum was on March 1. It has been moved to March 8. 

A rendering of the type of apartments which could be built should the DCP change go ahead

ARTISIT’S IMPRESSION: A rendering of the type of apartments which could be built should the DCP change go ahead


  • Bill milne says:

    As long as there is parkland involved in the DA , I can’t see a problem with multi story

  • Suzanne Cashmere says:

    I am most interested in these proposed units.
    Will they be high enough from the top floor units to have a view of Mt Canobolas?
    When is the expected year/time of completion?

    I currently live in my own 3 bedroom house in Orange and am seriously thinking of downsizing to a unit with a large balcony and a view. Not easy to find here in Orange so looking at quality units with my requirements in Canberra.
    Looking forward to a reply.
    Suzanne Cashmere

    • Council Communications says:

      This is the view of Mt Canobolas from the former hospital building. Once the DCP process is completed, the intention is to go the market and explore residential plans for with developers. At this stage there is no precise timeline for when that could be completed.
      This is a view from the former hospital looking towards the mountain.

  • Rohan Williams says:

    I was particularly impressed by the design submitted by James Nicholson of Adaptive Architects of the seven storey hotel, pub, and apartment blocks prepared for this site. I believe that style of building is particularly sympathetic to the heritage architectural culture of our city while addressing our need to begin building upwards in order to provide the medium density housing that our city is in need of. I do hope encouragement is given to the consortium that commissioned Mr Nicholson’s design and their plans facilitated.

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