Development moratorium looms in Port Dover

Port Dover is the latest community in Norfolk to face a moratorium on new development due to capacity issues involving water and sewer.In Port Dover’s case, the concern is the county’s ability to produce and store treated water versus its ability to satisfy peak periods of demand.The shortfall is the subject of a staff report that will be tabled at Tuesday’s meeting of Norfolk council. The report recommends a hold on new development applications requiring water service until these capacity issues are addressed.Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp, for one, will support the move.“This issue has been building in magnitude for years now, and the health and safety of our residents needs to be our first priority,” Chopp said Friday in a news release.“We need to be the council that deals with difficult issues such as this one. Staff have made this a priority and are hard at work finding solutions — both short-term and long-term.“I hope my colleagues around the council table will join me in working to fix this situation quickly so we can get back to business as usual in Port Dover.”Chopp alluded to the urgency of the situation in early May during the annual state-of-the-county address in Renton.She told a breakfast meeting of the Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce May 8 that capacity issues in Port Dover – Norfolk’s fastest growing community — are among the biggest challenges facing the county.Chopp said Norfolk has the capacity to treat 2,454 cubic metres of water a day in Port Dover, which itself has the capacity to draw 4,579 cubic metres at peak demand.“That is less than 50 per cent (capacity),” Chopp told the chamber. “It is a nightmare. This is the Dover issue that keeps me up at night, not the Misner Dam.”Norfolk has been here before. In recent years, holds on new development applications have been imposed while the county addressed water- and wastewater-treatment issues in Simcoe, Waterford and Port Rowan.The situation in Waterford was recently resolved, allowing the long-delayed Villages of Waterford subdivision in the north end of town to proceed.The proposed moratorium will not affect the subdivision projects already underway in Port Dover. It would, however, delay proposals that are not yet registered, have not received site plan approval or where construction has yet to begin. These projects will be dealt with on a “case-by-case” basis.“The municipality is obligated to have servicing capacities in operation before making commitments for developments,” the staff report to council says.“The county cannot over-commit the plants that provide potable and wastewater servicing. Over-committing is not sustainable and may result in constructing treatment capacities that are never used or not used until late in the treatment plant planning period.”The report and its recommendations will be tabled at Tuesday’s meeting of Norfolk council.The meeting begins in the council chamber at Governor Simcoe Square at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

Minister confirms good progress towards digital radio transition in UK automotive

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, outlined his ambitions for a “fully digital nation by 2015” this week.Speaking at a high-profile conference on the future of digital entertainment, he outlined the “good progress” made within the automotive sector, but commented that there was still much to be done.Welcoming the news as a sign of government’s commitment to the switchover, Paul Everitt, Chief Executive, SMMT, said he was “encouraged” by the Minister’s announcement, but reiterated industry’s need for a confirmed date for switchover, to ensure momentum is maintained.At a parallel session of the conference, focussing specifically on the automotive sector, SMMT spoke alongside Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, Nick Piggott, Head of Creative Technology, Global Radio and Leslie Burrage, Managing Director, Roberts Radio on the latest digital radio developments within UK automotive.Paul Everitt stressed the need for government to confirm a date for digital radio switchover as soon as possible and of the need for transition to be “consumer-led”. He further highlighted the importance of a government “digital radio tick”, to signify the minimum government-approved specification for digital radio products, thereby boosting consumer confidence.It is expected that government will announce in 2013 the date of switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting, which is widely expected to be in 2015.SMMT is working to support industry’s transition to digital radio through extensive engagement with stakeholders.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more