Oxford County council has approved multiple residential developments in recent weeks in the township, which could add about 100 housing units. The latest was a subdivision development south of Main St. E. to add 38 single detached houses.
Norwich may not rival Toronto in size, but there’s little doubt the tiny south Oxford County town will be growing.
Oxford County council approved multiple residential developments in the township in recent weeks, which could add another 100 or so housing units to the already close to 300 housing, townhouse and apartment units that are being – or almost ready to be – built.
“We are experiencing a bit of a boom,” said Heather St. Clair, Oxford County’s planner for Norwich and Tillsonburg. “Norwich has quite a few applications on the go, and many of them are for residential development. It’s higher than average.”
St. Clair noted subdivision and residential development is an ongoing process, but there are almost ready to put shovels in the ground.
The latest approval saw county council approve a development just south of Main Street East and east of Phebe Street.
The development would see Stubbe’s Property Development out of nearby Harley build 38 single detached houses.
“The existing subdivisions are full or filling up, so there’s going to be a need for additional properties to be bought and developed,” project manager Albert Meyer said.
Meyer added the company is already familiar with the area, with Harley being only a 10-minute drive, and has close connections within the community.
“We like to invest locally. This is one of the first subdivisions we’re developing, so it’s nice to have it close to home,” said Meyer, adding they hope to break ground by next spring. “We’re familiar with the builders, and there’s a lot of growth in Norwich and Oxford County happening.”
Oxford County is also conveniently located on the Highway 401 and 403 junction, and is an hour or less drive to nearby London, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Cambridge.
“I think Norwich is in a good location to serve the needs of the Tri-City area like Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge while also serving the London population who maybe need to commute to two different places,” St. Clair said. “Norwich also has a nice small-town rural vibe that people seem to be drawn to and are looking to get out of the city to find something more small-time paced.”
The additional approved housing that will pop up in the coming years will also help ease the housing shortage seen throughout the region.
“It’s more housing and we need housing all over Oxford County and Southwestern Ontario,” Oxford Warden and Norwich Mayor Larry Martin told the Sentinel-Review recently.
It could also see Oxford see record growth in the coming years.
An April report to county council predicted growth in Oxford could soar by 41 per cent over the 30 years. The report stated Oxford could grow from the roughly 110,000 in 2016 to about 161,000 by 2046.
The report also suggested Oxford could add 8,400 people by 2021, which would see the county enjoy its fastest growth since being formed in 1975.
“Oxford County’s not unique to this,” St. Clair said of the housing boom. “All of Ontario is facing a need for residential development. These projects are fulfilling these needs. We’re fulfilling those needs by receiving and approving these applications.”