TOWN OF BRADFORD WEST GWILLIMBURY
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury has completed its new Official Plan and submitted it to the County of Simcoe for approval.
All municipalities in Ontario are required to have an Official Plan, which provides a vision for future growth and generally guides where new homes, businesses and parks should be located. It includes policies with respect to the construction of new services such as roads and sewers, as well as those that protect our agricultural lands and our natural and built heritage.
“The last Official Plan done in 2002 set the Bradford Urban Boundary where it is now, and the new Official Plan done in March 2021 does not expand the boundaries of the Bradford Urban Area, Bond Head Settlement Area or the Highway 400 Strategic Settlement Employment Area,” says Mayor Rob Keffer. “We were able to maintain the existing approved boundaries because we anticipate having enough lands designated for development within those areas to accommodate our needs for residential uses through the year 2031, and beyond that for employment uses.”
“Our well-managed growth as a community is also being undertaken with particular measures to ensure new subdivisions include large areas of green space, trails and other environmental protections to provide for sustainable development and build a complete community within our designated urban areas,” said the Mayor. “We are also protecting our agricultural lands, working to attract economic development and provide for transportation infrastructure necessary to improve traffic congestion.”
For lower-tier municipalities like BWG, the decision as to where population growth and settlement is to take place is made by the upper tier of government, and lower-tier municipalities are required to bring their local Official Plans into conformity through the community planning process. It has been determined that BWG is to expect to accommodate a total of approximately 50,500 people by the year 2031.
“Our planning process has a high level of public participation and consultation,” says Alan Wiebe, Manager of Community Planning. “The process of updating the Official Plan included more than 20 meetings with the public and stakeholder groups, as well as opportunities to provide input and feedback at every stage of drafting the document, and I believe the result is an Official Plan that represents the best future for our community.”
Future decisions regarding land use planning and growth management in the Town of BWG will involve additional consultation with the community and stakeholders, above and beyond that which took place during the Town’s 2016-2020 Official Plan Review.
The County of Simcoe is currently undertaking a Municipal Comprehensive Review in accordance with the Provincial Growth Plan, and will be considering the allocation of future growth to lower-tier municipalities within the County with a horizon as far as the year 2051.