We do hear and appreciate the community concerns with this potential development.
Any planning permit application follows a statutory process, governed by the Planning and Environment Act.
An applicant will enter into discussions with the planning team ahead of an application being submitted and then placed on notice. These discussions can take weeks or months with requests for information, alternations or amendments made to an application before it is formally submitted. During this phase, an applicant could cease the application to undertake more work, revisit the application or withdraw it completely. The council must respect the privacy of the applicant.
An application is only placed on exhibition once an officer is satisfied all the information is available, complete and accessible to the public.
Any person doing business with council – whether they are a business or community member – has an expectation of confidentiality and privacy.
In the instance of Junction Place, this is a private application on land not owned by the council and like anyone, the developer is entitled to the procedural fairness and confidentiality the process allows for until such time as the planning permit application is able to be made public, via the notification processes as set out in the Act. The process then allows for open community feedback, which we received and welcome, followed by a fully informed paper to councillors – that will take all feedback and objections into account – for a determination.
It is important, for the procedural fairness and that without prejudice, we follow the process to ensure opinions are not formed on an incomplete application or on an application that is not fully resolved.
December 13: At its December meeting, the council refused the planning permit application for the Junction Place master plan. The minutes for that meeting can be found here.
January, 2022: The council was notified by the applicant that they would like to proceed with the planning permit application proposing two retail premises at the corner of Elgin Boulevard and Smythe St. This is the application that proposes a Dan Murphy’s outlet on the site.
February 21, 2022: The planning permit application for the retail premises is due to come before council at its February council meeting.