Re: Plan to establish a Heritage Park lying between Belmont House and the east bank of Wilmot Creek, Newcastle, ON
Last night, the Planning and Development Committee of Municipal Council voted to approve an amendment No.117 to the Official Plan to give effect to this large residential development west of Ruddell Road, north of Highway 2. The Planning Services report is numbered: PSD–068–18. Final approval should occur when Council meets on September 17 and, hopefully, ratifies the actions of last night’s meeting of the Planning and Development Committee.
Significantly, the amendment establishes a Heritage Park area precisely where we want it to be. It will be approximately 3 acres in size, creating an open space vista of Belmont House and plenty of room for heritage recognition opportunities such as interpretative plaques and graphics, suitable benches and other park-like furniture, creation of connective trails and walkways, and so on. Moreover, the two development companies have agreed to contribute to the costs of this infrastructure in addition to their more than generous land dedication. We are very impressed by their sense of public responsibility.
There is a lot of work ahead of us to ensure the fruition of the Heritage Park. For example, a faction amongst the Planners would like to see a “multi-functional” Park, including swing sets, teeter-totters, splash pads, and not just purely Heritage recognition. However, according to their own Report, there are more than an adequate number of neighbourhood parks in the area, north and south of Highway 2. Then, there are the particulars of design to best achieve our goals; we MUST be part of this process and we may be calling upon a couple of volunteers to sit on a Design Review Committee.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you that in the past few months we have come MILES from the direction this subdivision plan was headed – Belmont House severed from the historic links to Wilmot Creek and completely surrounded by proposed roadways and 30’ housing lots. This achievement was made possible by two, incredibly dedicated people, Vic Suppan and Myno Van Dyke.