Planner Derek French says there are opportunties for business development in Cornwall. (CBC)

The Town of Cornwall is looking to draw more business and residents into core areas as it drafts a proposed master plan.

A public meeting was held Monday for residents to look at the draft plan.

Planner Derek French said the town may consider concentrating the area around the Trans-Canada Highway from the old core to North River in an effort to create a commercial centre.

"The population now has just reached over 5,000, so there's opportunities for these types of, we'll call it, commercial franchises to come in," said French.

Counc. Peter Meggs, chair of the town's planning board, said the Trans-Canada should become the community's main street.

"Because, yes, there isn't a lot of business in Cornwall. There isn't as much as there should be, and we'd certainly like to attract more."

Residents prepared to fight

Meggs hopes denser development will mean more of the town's amenities will be easier to access.

He also hopes that would encourage more people to use public transit. Ridership has been declining for two years.

The proposed plan also calls for more housing and apartments.

But Pete Singleton said residents in the residential development of Primrose Point are ready to fight against that in their neighbourhood.

"People have purchased lots in here and built homes with the expectations of having similar streetscapes through the whole subdivision," said Singleton.

A large group of neighbours will be taking that issue to town hall, he said.

A public meeting will be held Tuesday evening for residents to offer feedback on the draft plan.

Meggs said he hopes council will be able to vote on the new official plan before summer.