Concerns raised about Cogswell redevelopment prompt more public input

A coalition of 23 groups is concerned about a lack of consultation on the design of parks, walkways, plazas and the transit hub connected with the Cogswell Interchange redevelopment, so the city will be listening to what the coalition has to say.

'They have to be listened to, anything less would be arrogance on our part,' says Coun. Lisa Blackburn

The Cogswell Interchange redevelopment plan is about 60 per cent complete, Halifax council was told Tuesday. (The Canadian Press)

The redevelopment of Halifax's Cogswell Interchange passed another hurdle Tuesday, but municipal council wants more extensive consultations before the project comes back for its next approval.

About 60 per cent of the design is now complete.

"This is really transformative. This is a signature piece of work for this municipality," said Coun. Steve Craig.

However, a coalition of 23 organizations has written to council with concerns about the way the project will be financed, the roadway itself and the lack of consultation on the detailed designs of the parks, walkways, plazas and transit hub.

Before any more work proceeds on the final plan, the groups will be listened to.

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, says more public input is needed for the Cogswell Interchange redevelopment. (CBC)

"I think a lot of the groups kind of woke up to the fact that Cogswell really is happening," said Paul MacKinnon, CEO of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, which is one of the 23 groups in the coalition.

"There really are some concerns here."

Councillors are open to the idea of more consultation.

"They have to be listened to, anything less would be arrogance on our part," said Coun. Lisa Blackburn.

Council has asked managers to bring the project back when 90 per cent of the design is complete.

As for finances, city CAO Jacques Dube told council the financial plan isn't ready.

He said it could include not only the sale of land to developers, but also taxes generated by the new buildings.