Plant & Equipment

Scenic view over quarry

Jim Simpson from Keronga Developments unveiled plans for the former quarry last year when council signed off on rezoning the land from industrial to residential. 

He has now lodged a development application with the council for an 18-lot residential subdivision. 

At the time, he described the flooded quarry as a giant swimming pool and believed it would be a selling point for the development.

The owners of 14 blocks, ranging in size from 700m2 to 1925m2, will have exclusive use of the lake, a pontoon or jetty and beach area at the south end as well as a recreational area fronting on to Cedar Street, including a tennis court, play equipment and a barbecue area.

But they will have to agree to share the maintenance of the area and the fenced walkway surrounding the water?s edge, according to the development application prepared by the owner?s town planner.

?The proposed development would enhance the security of the quarry lake and minimise entry by unauthorised persons. The quarry lake can become a recreational asset to a residential estate,? the town planner said.

The site, unused since 2004, is heritage listed as an item of state significance because it was the source of Orange?s bluestone kerb and guttering but the developer plans to photograph and survey the site before any changes are made. 

Thanks for the memories

For local Max Livingstone, the site holds many memories for it was his and his father Bill?s former workplace. Livingstone spent 18 months at the quarry when he was 16 in the early 1960s while his father worked in the crusher for the quarry?s then owners the Hutcheson brothers.

Livingstone recalls the ?powder monkeys? blowing up larger pieces of bluestone with gelignite and labourers like himself using hammers weighing around five kilograms to manually break up the stone if the Bell crusher broke down. Livingstone believes the machinery is still on site but may now be underwater.

The Bluestone Hall in Anson Street, Orange and the Suma Park Dam wall also had their origins at the quarry, with bluestone going into the concrete made at the neighbouring batching plant.

Orange council is yet to formally assess the application but in discussions with the owner identified the quarry?s stability as a potential issue. A geotechnical investigation commissioned by the owner found the majority of the site was stable and suitable for residential development and the chance of rock fall around the lake?s edge would be ?rare to impossible?.

Despite past use as a concrete and hotmix asphalt plant, remediation work would make the site suitable for residences, according to an action plan developed for the site. 

Source: Central Western Daily News 

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