wdr-tecumseh-lakewood

Lakewood Golf Club is located at Riverside Drive and Manning Road in Tecumseh, Ont., near Windsor. ((Lakewood Golf Club))

A new, controversial housing development is a step closer to reality in Tecumseh, Ont.

The Ontario Municipal Board has approved a zoning bylaw and changes to the town's official plan to allow for housing subdivisions around Lakewood Golf Course.

The debate over the construction has raged for decades.

Earlier this year Tecumseh council ultimately agreed to buy 26-hectares of the golf course at a cost of $7 million.

The previous owner, Sumatara, retains 10.5 hectares where it plans to build houses.

The chairman of the OMB approved the necessary zoning and official plan amendment on Tuesday.

Alan Patton, the lawyer for Sumatara, told CBC News the next step will be to apply for a subdivision plan for the smaller piece of property along Christy Lane.

Neighbours worry property values will drop

However, some homeowners who live on the roadway are concerned the change will impact the value of their properties.

Residents say their homes were built to a certain standard, with wide lots and a view of the golf course.

'They're going to be very valuable and prized lots, there's no doubt about that.' —Alan Patton, developer's lawyer

Now they're not only losing their view, but they don't know what they could end up looking at.

"It's difficult enough paying your water bills, and your gas bills, and your maintenance and upkeep on your property," said Mickey Moulder, who lives on Christy Lane.

"Now it feels like we're being set upon by developers."

Patton said the homeowners needn't worry.

"I can't say definitively [if it will be] eight, nine, 10 or 11 lots, but they're going to be very valuable and prized lots, there's no doubt about that," said Patton.

He expects construction to start in the spring of 2011.

The town has plans to convert the remaining golf course into parkland and put a senior's residence on one end.