Britannia Beach poised for new look and development 

Residents get a peak at how their community could look in the next several years

For the first time in a long time residents of Britannia Beach believe there is a future for their community.

For decades they have lived with rumours about what was going to happen to their town.

"We have lived under the threat of being a golf course and a gravel pit," said Britannia Beach resident Anne Barnes.

"It made your home (impossible to sell) as no one wanted to move into somewhere that wasn’t going to be."

But last week, at a packed meeting with the area’s new owner, Macdonald Development Corporation, residents got a glimpse of what their town could look like and most appeared to be cautiously excited by what they saw.

"It is all good so far," said 19-year resident and chairperson of the Britannia Beach Land Tenure Society Lynne Cook.

"It will be an interesting next couple of months.

"There are huge changes coming to Britannia."

For the last few months engineers, planners, surveyors and clean-up crews have been scurrying around the community.

They have found a warren of underground water pipes, a hydro system far below standard, and a septic and sewer system reeking of old age.

The result of their work was the removal of 10 construction waste bins of garbage, some new lighting and a realization that parts of the community’s infrastructure are held together with baling wire.

At the meeting developer Rob Macdonald told more than 150 residents and others that the infrastructure would be upgraded. The estimated price tag for the work is $4 million.

His confirmation of the work got a solid round of applause.

But the thorniest issues before Macdonald, and the one of most concern to the residents, is will they be allowed to continue living there as he continues with plans to create lots for up to 250 single dwelling homes?

"Many of us can’t afford to buy here or anywhere else, or we don’t want to," said one resident at the meeting.

"And we don’t want to move."

Macdonald was quick to reply.

"We are not interested in seeing people turfed out of their homes," he said.

Macdonald Development owns a small piece of land in the area just off Highway 99 where various retail businesses are now.

The hope is that it can be redeveloped.

"I think in time the whole… area will become a major tourist destination," said Macdonald.


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