Cottonwood development granted three-year extension

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Aylmer councillors, in a virtual March 15 meeting, supported a three-year extension of the draft plan approval for the Cottonwood Hills subdivision.

The request came from London-based developer Sifton Properties Limited, who owns the land off Dingle Street in Aylmer’s east end. The deadline for the draft plan has been extended from May 15 this year, to May 15, 2024.

“The folks at Sifton are now preparing the site as we discussed in December,” explained Corporate Services Director Kale Brown. “This is just to further allow the development of the additional future phases as discussed in the report.”

Councillor Tom Charlton asked, “Does this mean they’re not going to be putting infrastructure in this coming year, and roadwork, and starting to dig foundations or anything like that?”

Mr. Brown told him that Sifton is required to get approval from Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for the final engineering design, including the stormwater management plan. The wait for approval is what is causing delay to their design for construction.

“Sifton’s initiative is there – they’re trying to get this underway, they need to finalize the drawings to submit for approval from the ministry,” said Mr. Brown. “As soon as that approval comes, they can construct the roads with the pipes in them.”

Council previously approved an extension for the submission of the draft plan in 2020 to May 15, 2021, following a previous one-year extension to May 15, 2020, granted in 2019.

The Cottonwood Hills subdivision has been in the works for almost 30 years. A series of extensions were granted to the past owners and the current owner, who took over the project in January 2016.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express