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Here's where Londoners can expect higher density developments

Residential towers under construction in Downtown London (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London) Residential towers under construction in Downtown London (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)
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Higher-density developments are coming to more London neighbourhoods as city council strives to meet its provincially assigned housing target.

Having pledged 47,000 new residential units by 2031, the most pressing question for the Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) is where will the new developments be constructed?

On Monday, members of PEC approved several infill projects with locations that are consistent with a growing number of medium-density developments approved over the past year.

“Three to four storeys is not a radical departure in changing the character [of a neighbourhood],” Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis told residents of Pond Mills who opposed one such development. “We’re going to see more of that as we try and fit a few more units in each building so that people have a place to call home.”

On Monday, committee members expressed support for intensification along arterial roads, including properties that had been initially been zoned for single-family homes.

By extension, the centre of neighbourhoods would likely be less favourable.

Being located on or close to a primary transit corridor/rapid transit route is also a leading criteria for permitting even greater density on a site.

“I hope to see more of these [developments] along the transit routes, especially Wellington Gateway now that it’s underway, said Chair of PEC Steve Lehman.

Lehman recalled commitments made several years ago that rapid transit routes would encourage higher-density residential investments.

In addition, The London Plan’s policies to reduce urban sprawl translate into a preference towards infill lots rather than near the city’s perimeter.

“The cutting of some trees on this site is definitely preferable to a greenfield and the clearcutting of an existing woodlot somewhere else,” explained Lewis before he voted in favour of a proposed high rise at Oxford Street E. and Mornington Avenue. 

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