GRANVILLE BEACH - News that Cooke Aquaculture has decided not to exercise the option to purchase 25 acres of land in the Granville Beach area is being greeted enthusiastically by the Granville Rate Payer’s Association.
“We’ve been notified by the realtor that the property is back on the market,” said spokesperson Dr. Hague Vaughan. “It’s very happy news.”
When contacted, Cooke spokesperson Nell Halse said: “Tests have determined that the land is not suitable so we are no longer considering this property.”
When word spread in late July that Cooke Aquaculture had an accepted offer to purchase land in the Granville Beach area, with an eye to building a fish hatchery there, it didn’t take long for the Granville Rate Payer’s Association to form and begin the lobby effort against the proposed development.
“Community can make a difference,” said Dr. Vaughn. “Every now and then it’s nice to win one.”
Going forward, Dr. Vaughn said the rate payer’s association will be presenting a proposal for a Special Places Zone to Annapolis County municipal council at their meeting on Sept. 12.
Zoning is currently non-existent in the Granville area.
In particular, the association wants to preserve the most historic section of Granville Road spanning from Annapolis Royal to the lighthouse opposite Goat Island.
“This 15-kilometre section first weaves through the beautifully preserved Village of Granville Ferry with its restored, century-old homes. Leaving the Village, it goes past small farms, historic agricultural marshlands, the Melanson Settlement National Historic Site and the Port Royal National Historic Site where Champlain landed in 1605,” states a press release.
“While the entire road is of historical significance, this section of the road must be safeguarded to retain its unique historical and cultural heritage for all Canadians now and for generations to come while encouraging fitting and sustainable economic growth to benefit all residents. An industrial use in such a special place would be abhorrent for the community and the county. This section of Granville Road is one of Annapolis County's most popular tourist draws.”
The Granville Rate Payer’s Association did start a petition just days before Cooke withdrew the option to purchase the Granville Beach property. Signatories are still being sought for the “NOT HERE” online and hand-out petition as a way to show support to municipal council for protecting the area through zoning.