BROCKTON – “Devastating.”
That was how Mayor Chris Peabody described the impact of Bruce County’s plan for future development on Brockton.
He has asked his council to approve hiring a planner to prepare a response to Bruce County’s Plan the Bruce good growth discussion paper, and to represent Brockton’s interests at a upcoming meeting of county council.
The growth plan was discussed by county council in September.
“It was a very adverse report,” said Peabody. “It directs all growth to Saugeen Shores.”
The mayor was especially concerned at the way the county appears to have “given up” on hamlets such as Cargill, Chepstow and Elmwood.
He said a professional planner would “help make a strong case for Brockton.”
The report on growth in Bruce looked at the county as a whole and determined that growth should be focused on the county’s urban areas where municipal services such as sewers and water are available.
The county plan’s determination that there is enough urban land for residential and industrial growth for the next 15 years will make it difficult for Brocton to make a case for expansion of its urban borders, Peabody said to fellow county council members in September. He voted against endorsing the discussion paper although the majority of the county’s planning and development committee voted in favour of it.
Coun. Kym Hutcheon said she supports the idea of hiring a planner to represent Brockton at county council. “I do not want to see growth in Brockton stifled in any way.”
Although the mayor had suggested a limit of $1,000, Coun. Dean Leifso suggested something in the $2,000-$5,000 range would be more realistic. It would be money well spent, he said, since it would be a foundation for future dealings with the county.
Peabody mentioned the possibility of Brockton taking on its own planning at some point “down the road.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times