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Other infill developments face neighbourhood opposition — this one is welcomed

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Mounting resistance to infill development in neighbourhoods is testing city council’s commitment to The London Plan’s intensification targets.

However, one prominent project is bucking the trend.

On Monday, following two public participation meetings dominated by neighbours opposed to redevelopments on Upper Queen Street and Westmount Crescent, the Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) heard no opposition to a 12-house subdivision plan at 723 Lorne Ave.

It will be the final phase of the redevelopment of the former Lorne Avenue Public School property.

On 0.74 hectares of land next to the park, Habitat for Humanity will construct 12 houses with secondary units (granny suites) in each basement for a total of 24 residential units.

“What that does is it gives another person a space to live in, and second, it helps that habitat homeowner pay down their mortgage,” explained George De Vlugt from Habitat for Humanity.

“I think it’s positive, it will bring additional vibrancy to the area,” Stephen Spong told CTV News London as he snowplowed his driveway across the street. “I think density is always important, especially in a fast growing city.”

Habitat for Humanity said that in addition to aligning with the city’s intensification targets, increasing the density of its infill developments allows the organization to assist more families.

“Density is very important, because land costs are going up and home building costs are going up,” said De Vlugt.

Concerns expressed by neighbours have been primarily technical, including traffic flow through an exceptionally narrow section of Queens Place.

Civic Administration has developed a plan that will only permit southbound traffic on the narrow segment and construct a new two-direction road north to Lorne Avenue.

If approved by council on Feb. 14, Habitat for Humanity hopes to break ground in spring 2024. 

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