A council plan to develop a piece of prime waterfront land – part of Toronto’s foreshore park – is short sighted, a resident opposed to the project says.
But Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser says the six storey commercial, tourism and residential development would provide a boost to the community.
Council voted on Monday night to prepare for the development application process to design and build the complex on two blocks near Bath Street.
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While no detailed plans are available yet, the development is being touted as much higher than the two storeys that the local environmental plan allows in that area.
Council’s decision means planning approval will be sought and detailed design and construction work will go to tender.
But Toronto resident Jeff Jansson, whose Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise contributed to the greenery in the foreshore park, spoke against the plan at the council meeting.
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Mr Jansson told the Newcastle Herald he believed Toronto’s population growth meant there was increasing demand for park land.
“It should be the park land that people believe it is, without the development,” he said.
“We’re not against development as such but this is prime waterfront land and quite a sensitive area.”
Mr Jansson said the proposal was “very, very short sighted”.
“The community believes that [land earmarked for development] is the park,” he said.
“The whole area is designated as the Toronto foreshore park. Council maintains it, the same crew mows it – there’s no distinction between the two [the park land and land to be developed].”
Cr Wendy Harrison was the only councillor who spoke against the plan at Monday’s meeting. She was unsuccessful in her call to make the blocks community land.
“I believe this is what a great deal of people in Toronto want,” she said.
Mayor Kay Fraser said it was the beginning of the process and there would be a chance for wide public consultation when the development application was lodged.
“We’ve had a clear line with what this land will be used for,” she said.
“It’s an opportunity to provide an economic boost to the Toronto area.”
Cr Jason Pauling said the concept was for “an iconic building for this site”.
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