hi-nb-bill-farren-852

Coun. Bill Farren asked whether the city had any problems negotiating with the provincial government to buy property for an industrial park.

Saint John formally dropped plans for an industrial park near the Birchwood Place subdivision on Tuesday night, a move that relieved many people in the neighbourhood.

The Saint John Industrial Parks Board was planning to create a light industrial zone on a 15.8-hectacre property off of Ocean Westway.

But Lois Vincent, president of the Saint John Industrial Parks Board, withdrew the rezoning application in a letter dated on July 17, but released this week.

The Saint John Industrial Parks Board did not give a reason on Tuesday for pulling its request.

The property that was being considered for an industrial park is less than 100 metres from the Birchwood Place subdivision. There are 70 homes within 200 metres of the proposed site.

The provincial government owns a significant amount of property in the Spruce Lake Industrial Park. However, according to the industrial parks board, the provincial government would not sell any of the land.

Coun. Bill Farren tried to confirm whether the provincial government was unwilling to deal with the city on the property during Tuesday’s council meeting.

His request did not get a response.

While there are still unanswered questions about why the industrial parks board dropped its expansion proposal, residents living in Birchwood Place are relieved.

"We're safe now for another few years,” said Doug Young.

Young and many of his neighbours gathered on the street outside their homes on Tuesday night to discuss the board’s decision to drop the industrial park expansion proposal.

"I'm very happy they didn't put it back there because it's a good little neighbourhood,” said Jeff Green.