London

City moving forward with plans for residential subdivision and elementary school in northwest London

After heated debate in council on Oct. 5, the City of London decided to move forward with the planning of a residential subdivision and elementary school in the northwest of the city.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to defer the decision

Auburn Developments is offering to include space for a new school on this property at the northeast corner of Sunningdale Road West and Hyde Park Road. (Andrew Lupton/CBC )

After heated debate, London city council decided Tuesday to move forward with the planning of a residential subdivision and elementary school in the northwest end of the city. 

In a tight decision, council voted 7-6 to direct staff to bring back a bylaw that would redesignate land at 2631 Hyde Park Rd. and 1521 Sunnningdale Rd, to allow Auburn Developments to formally apply to build on the lands.

In exchange, the developer would set aside land in the Kent subdivision, south of Sunningdale Road, so that a new school can be built there. The plan would ease severe overcrowding at Sir Arthur Currie School, which is almost at double its capacity, with 22 portables in use.

There are over 20 hectares of farmland that council wants to redesignate in the Official Plan from "open space" to "low density residential".

The move was denounced by Coun. Stephen Turner.

"I'm very concerned with the way we've gotten here and where we're going and what it means for the future and what it means for the integrity of our policies, which have been well-considered, well-thought-out, well discussed by the public in the largest public participation process on an official plan ever in Canada. And we're ready to shrug our shoulders and say that's not as important."

There was an unsuccessful attempt by Coun. Anna Hopkins to refer the motion "to work with [the developer]  and the school board to provide a detailed application as to their proposal"  before making any changes to the City's official plan. But her proposal was soundly defeated.

Coun. Josh Morgan, who pushed for the accelerated development of the lands in northwest London, stressed that council's decision is just the first of many steps, and that any application to develop on the lands will be subject to the regular approval process.

But some are predicting that council's decision will be appealed to a provincial tribunal.

 

 

 

 

 

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