HOUSING Plus says the construction of 38 units on a site in Havannah Street will inject millions into the economy, create jobs and provide more affordable housing opportunities.
The NSW Government engaged Housing Plus to be one of six providers to deliver new housing across the state under its Social and Affordable Housing Fund.
CEO David Fisher said Housing Plus aims to build 220 homes throughout the Central West in the next two years, with 47 of them planned for Bathurst.
"That represents a $70 million investment by Housing Plus that will create jobs as well as support the cities of Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo to grow by providing much-needed affordable housing," he said.
Due to a lack of affordable housing in Bathurst, Mr Fisher said waiting times for one and two bedroom properties were between two and five years, with the current waiting list having approximately 220 people after these kinds of properties.
The units proposed for Havannah Street are forecast to reduce that waiting list by 30 per cent in 12 months.
While there has been little objection to the purpose of the units, some residents are concerned about the design of the complex itself.
At at discussion forum on Wednesday night, four members of the public, along with people representing Housing Plus, spoke about the project.
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Wayne Feebrey, the deputy chair of the Bathurst and District branch of the National Trust, expressed concern that a dwelling built in 1881 would be demolished to make way for the units.
While the National Trust would prefer to see it retained and restored, it would also accept a reinstatement of the original building using as much of the materials and design as practical.
"Property owners that have failed to protect their buildings should not be rewarded by allowing them to demolish heritage buildings," Mr Feebrey said.
"They should be compelled to repair or reinstate these buildings, ensuring that the basic form, bulk and fabric of the building is maintained using similar techniques and qualities of construction."
In response, project manager David Standley noted that Housing Plus had only owned the site for a few months and had bought it with the heritage building already in a state of disrepair.
He said the building would not be retained, but its bricks would be reused in the new development.
Mr Feebrey also encouraged the use of more trees within the development, to which Mr Standley said there were plans to expand its landscaping to include more native vegetation.
Housing Plus also addressed access and contamination concerns put forward.