Residents call for town to secure land, protect Hudson, Que.’s Sandy Beach

Click to play video: 'Protecting Hudson’s Sandy Beach'
Protecting Hudson’s Sandy Beach
WATCH: A small piece of beachfront property that has yet to be built up by developers is considered by many to be Hudson’s crown jewel. But that could change as land around Sandy Beach is turned in to a housing project. – Mar 31, 2021

Some residents of Hudson, Que., are trying to stop the development of land next to Sandy Beach.

The Sandy Beach Wetland Protection Group is pushing to have the town purchase the land to ensure that the greenspace around the beach is better protected.  Group members as well as other residents who oppose the project say they’re willing to do anything to preserve its splendour.

“Because I would like to see the next generations of Hudsonites and whoever else want to come, to be able to enjoy it,” stated resident David Burgan while on a walk on the beach.

Though the land is privately owned, group members say the space has been used by residents for decades and that the project is too big.

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“Too many units in a sensitive environmental area is just not the place to put this project,” explained Adrian Burke, a member of the group.

Click to play video: 'Wetland battle in Hudson'
Wetland battle in Hudson

The plan is for 90 townhouses, some about 50 metres from the beach.

“So probably 30 in the first phase and there will be condos just north of the tracks [near St. Thomas School],” said town mayor Jamie Nicholls.

Resident Stuart Kay also worries about the impact on wildlife, though he said he understands the desire for profit.

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“Yeah, I’m all for making money,” he pointed out. “I’m a businessman — been a businessman all my life. But I think some things should not be allowed to happen. Depends on the impact they are gonna have on the environment.”

According to the mayor, the town already controls almost two-thirds of the land in question including the beach, meaning those areas won’t be touched. But the group that wants to stop the project insists that isn’t enough, and that’s why they’re pushing town administration to buy the land.

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“To protect the entirety of the woodlands, the wetlands and the beach,” stressed Burke.

However, according to Nicholls, there’s just one problem.

“The land is not for sale,” he said, “and the developer, from what we understand, has no interest in selling.”

Still, Burke thinks the town could make the developer an offer they can’t refuse. Burgan said he’d even be willing to help pay.

“I’m willing to contribute,” he declared. “I’m willing to put some money in the pot to try and keep it.”

But Nicholls pointed that the town is now looking to protect wetlands in the eastern section of the town.

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“We’ve negotiated what we think is the best,” he said, “and we’re turning our eyes to conserving larger areas in the town.”

Global News reached out to the developer did not receive a reply by publication deadline.

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