BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody said he isn’t backing off on his opposition to the county’s Watson Report on growth in the county.
“They picked the wrong mayor,” he said.
The report states that Brockton has a shortage of what’s termed “employment land” – land for industrial development.
“The county has now decided to interfere with our hospice in the East Ridge industrial park,” said Peabody.
He explained that the land is zoned business park, and would have to be rezoned when plans to construct a residential hospice on the designated land come to fruition. Fundraising efforts for the hospice are ongoing.
Peabody said he will be opposing “the county’s interference with growth in Brockton.” He said he resents the fact Saugeen Shores is “allowed to develop from McGregor Point to Southampton,” while Brockton’s growth is constrained by the county’s endorsement of the Watson Report on growth.
“All I want as mayor is a level playing field,” Peabody said.
The hospice is just one example of what he termed the county’s interference. The mayor said he’s also heard from a local developer that the county has told them the Watson Report might interfere with plans for construction of townhouses for seniors in Walkerton.
Peabody said he contacted the county’s planning department about that matter, and was told the operative word was “might.” There was no statement the county would not allow the development to proceed. However, the developer is concerned.
Peabody is backed by his council in opposing the Watson Report. Brockton plans to hire a professional planner to represent Brockton’s interests at an upcoming special meeting of Bruce County council.
Brockton has enjoyed a recent boom in both residential and industrial development, and has invested a considerable amount of money to service new land for development, primarily in East Ridge Business Park at the north-east side of Walkerton.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times