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Ingersoll ignites growth with secondary plan

By Lee Griffi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Town of Ingersoll is hoping its new Secondary Plan will deliver on its mission.

That mission is to offer sustainable services and amenities that promote quality of living by mapping out a future vision for 1,500 acres of land recently annexed through a partnership with the Township of South-West Oxford.

“Ingersoll Town Council and Oxford County Council have taken proactive measures to enact policies that promote increased population densities. This guarantees an abundant supply of residences for prospective residents while also strengthening industrial and commercial sectors to improve service delivery,” said Ingersoll Mayor Brian Petrie.

He added it is a big win for the town and explained what it means to the average Ingersoll resident.

“We brought in land through the boundary adjustment process and now we have to figure out what those uses are. We have our Official Plan through Oxford County and this is applying the same lens to the new grouping of properties to say what we want done, generally speaking.”

The town’s CAO Michael Graves said the completion of the plan means increased growth which will benefit all.

"Ingersoll and the Township of South-West Oxford have forged a robust partnership to facilitate responsible growth. This synergy positions us to attract new residents and enhance existing services, thereby fortifying our community fabric.”

Petrie explained land use applications will be forthcoming and council will have their input as to what ends up on the privately owned lands. The land is all privately owned but the town does own a small piece in the area and there are plans for housing and recreation projects.

“The rest will be up to the property owners to decide over time how they want that land to transform. The plan is a guide for them to see the vision of where we want that to go. Some is residential land, a lot of it is industrial and some is prime industrial so we can kind of control the development that goes there,” explained Petrie.

Affordable housing continues to be one of the top few issues faced by Oxford County municipalities and the Echo asked Petrie if any lower-cost lodging would be coming through the approval of the Secondary Plan.

“Traditionally we rely on the private sector to be able to develop the land and hopefully they provide a range of housing but the town owning property where we can control the outcome is huge. We will be able to influence what gets built there down to the zoning level. As the owners we can have some say and influence on what we want to see built.”

He added the town is hoping to be able to spur different types of affordability and build styles for housing on the 40 acres owned by taxpayers.

The boundary adjustment with the township was finalized in 2021 to provide an opportunity for Ingersoll’s future industrial, commercial and residential growth. The comprehensive Secondary Plan approved by the Town of Ingersoll and Oxford County Councils last month will direct growth and development in this area, including land use planning, transportation, water management, waste disposal, environmental protection, cultural heritage preservation, financial viability, and legislative requirements.

A key part of planning for the new area includes a review of the different types of housing options that could be developed, including low, medium and high-density housing. Any future potential housing development projects would require planning approvals and include an opportunity for public feedback. Ingersoll’s Strategic Plan commits to a diverse and affordable housing mix.

Oxford County Warden Marcus Ryan said with the county’s communities facing unprecedented growth, the role of municipalities in providing well-planned, reliable local services that can be sustained into the future becomes even more important.

“The ability to collaborate among Oxford’s area municipalities and work together for the benefit of citizens is part of what makes our communities great places to live.”

Ingersoll’s Manager of Economic Development is Curtis Tighe and he said the land acquisition will allow the town to continue to attract new business.

"With over 700 acres of prime industrial land, Ingersoll is an attractive destination for industrial development. Coupled with our strategic location and a vast labour pool, we are poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities.”

With Ingersoll expected to grow to 19,000 people by 2046, the town said the Secondary Plan is an important step in ensuring strong residential, industrial, and commercial growth keeps pace with the town’s core commitments to communications and operations excellence, economic development, residential growth and community prosperity, and collaborative partnerships and infrastructure.

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