Airport rezoning – ” should await merger outcome before proceeding”

One project that doesn’t seem to be “on hold” because of merger delays (see story left) is the rezoning of land adjacent to Orange Airport for industrial use.
City Council’s proposal to rezone 114 hectares of primary production and environmental management land just south of the airport to a mix of general industrial and business is currently on public exhibition.

Nearby landholders (including some in Cabonne Shire) are opposed to the rezoning, concerned about pollution of the drinking water catchment and use of some of the “most valuable fertile agricultural basalt soils in Australia, being Identified Strategic Agricultural Land.”

They point to many alternative, un-utilised industrial zones within the Region, which already have existing infrastructure to service large scale industrial activities.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has ruled the rezoning not go ahead unless the councils agreed to modify the “Blayney Cabonne Orange Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy ” – a joint panning agreement of many years standing.

Blayney Mayor Scott Ferguson is reported in saying that he wants to see a full review.

The Blayney Shire already has 40 hectares of industrial land serviced by road, rail and gas, with another 40 hectares available for expansion.
“We have concerns any industrial development would have a severe impact on our site,” he said.
Likewise, Cabonne has vacant industrial zoned land – including land prepared and serviced by private developers.

Newly elected member for Orange Mr Phil Donato said he wanted to see the rezoning held in abeyance until the proposed amalgamation between the three councils was dealt with.

“We’re opposed to prime agricultural land being rezoned into industry or commercial and it’s a water catchment area as well” he is reported as saying.
Orange Council has extended the time for community comment until the end of January.

“The proposal for a business park alongside the airport raises some important community issues, and it’s important we hear the breadth of community views,” Orange Mayor John Davis said.

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