WINGHAM, ONT. -- In a vote of six to one, a Saugeen Shores committee of the whole has approved construction of a waterfront development that will change Port Elgin forever.

If fully approved by Saugeen Shores council in January, Cedar Crescent Village will include a restaurant, retail stores, event hall and beach market.

It’s a privately-funded plan to be built on public land.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau voted in favour of the project.

“This investment is going to make for a great beach in Port Elgin for years to come, which is what we all want.”

Opponents, like Patricia Corrigan-Frank of the Port Elgin Beach Preservers, say the planned development is too big.

“Our concerns are primarily about size and location. It’s going to be a large development, very close to the waterfront. We don’t think it’s appropriate environmentally, or the way it’s going to look.”

If approved in January, Cedar Crescent Village would have a 50-year lease to operate on Port Elgin’s waterfront.

The town has worked in an ‘out-clause’ after 20 years, if they’re not happy with how Cedar Crescent Village is operating.

Construction could begin as early as next year.