Mitchell House site in Cobra Street the subject of a development application

The Cobra Street site known as 'Mitchell House' is subject to a $1.57 million redevelopment proposal.
The Cobra Street site known as 'Mitchell House' is subject to a $1.57 million redevelopment proposal.

The owners of the prominent site known as ‘Mitchell House’ at Dubbo have a $1.57 million plan to turn it into serviced apartments.

A development application (DA) was lodged with Dubbo Regional Council for the redevelopment of the Cobra Street property into 52 serviced apartments.

Council planners have recommended the new project’s approval subject to 76 conditions.

The DA will go to this week’s planning and development committee meeting.

The report outlines the DA including alterations to two existing buildings to contain 24 serviced apartments and for eight additional buildings to contain 28 serviced apartments.

There would also be three disabled access units and one common room.

The proposed use was a non-residential ‘tourist accommodation’ use which would provide units for short- to medium-term accommodation, council planner Alex Noad advised in a report to the council.

His report, which is publicly available on the council’s website, notes the site at 277-283 Cobra Street was originally developed as a motel.

Its use later changed to a boarding house or group home for socially disadvantaged people, when it became known as ‘Mitchell House’.

A plan in 2010 for the site’s use by a state government department to house ex-prisoners met with controversy and Mr Noad referred to that issue in his report.

“[The council] received significant objections to a past proposal for its use by the NSW Department… as a transitional group home which was anticipated to potentially impact on the amenity of surrounding residential areas,” he said.

“Ultimately the department did not proceed to lodge a development application and subsequently sold the site to the subject owner.”

Mr Noad also noted the site had frontage to Cobra Street, which was a “gateway to the city” and was adjoined to the east by the council’s Keswick Estate, currently under construction.

“Acknowledging past public interest in the site, its prominent location and proximity to a new residential estate, the development application has been forwarded to council for the purposes of transparency in its determination,” he said.

The DA was notified to adjoining property owners for a period of 14 days and no submissions were received in relation to the development, Mr Noad said.