By Tim Haggerty and Michael LippmanPublished March 04, 2017 10:54:24British Columbia, Canada— In the heart of B.C., a city that once looked like it would be the last place a farmer could see a family of four before winter rolled in, a land development project has turned the once-mighty forested forest into a bustling residential, retail and office district.
The $30 billion project, dubbed “the golden halo,” will transform an area that’s just 10,000 square kilometres in size and has only two commercial sites and four residential ones into the second largest urban forest in the world.
While some of the best farmland in the province was sold to developers for years, this project is different.
It’s the first time a land developer has been given permission to develop a forest, said John Millington, who works as a consultant with the firm BHP Billiton.
It was announced in February, but only now has it begun to go through the regulatory process, with a decision expected by the end of this year.
The project will take about six years to complete, said Millingson, who is also a forest campaigner with Friends of the Golden Halo.
It will be completed by 2021 and will include a network of about 100 kilometres of trails, a bike path, pedestrian pathways, trails, residential towers, residential parks and a pedestrian bridge.
The land is expected to support about 300,000 people, or 1.2 per cent of the province’s population.
“It’s a real win for B.S. but also for the rest of Canada and internationally.
It is a game changer for the forest,” Millingington said.
“It will have a huge impact on the entire economy and the environment in this country.”
The Golden Hala project is one of many in B.J., with others in other provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
They are meant to help people manage land while minimizing impact to wildlife.
The province has a land use plan that requires developers to take into account wildlife in developing the land, but the process is far from perfect.
Millington said he is very confident in the land use process in the Golden halo.
“We have a clear vision that is based on a really well thought out plan.
There is not a lot of grey areas,” he said.”
The project has taken years to put together, and it has been really well supported by the government and a lot more than just the developers.
It has been done with the best people and best technology and it’s been really good for the environment.
The only problem is the planning process is not as good as other projects.”
The B.A. government has a plan to re-forest the province in the next five years, but Millingtons said there is still a long way to go.
The BC Greenbelt has a vision that could help mitigate some of those impacts, but it hasn’t been adopted by the province yet.
Millsons hopes the Golden land development is the first step in that process.
“I think that this is a really good example of what a great development plan can look like, and how it can really help make a positive impact on communities,” he added.
The Golden hala project has been described by environmentalists as a blueprint for a greener future for Bannockburn and is expected by some to be one of the first big projects to be approved in the region in years.
But while the GoldenHalo has been the subject of a major environmental debate, it’s not the first large land development to come up in Bannocks.
In fact, it was announced more than a year ago.
The plan to build a highway through the forest was announced nearly a year after the Golden Halo was announced, and in a place where the population of Bannochburn is about 25,000, the idea of a highway was not even considered.
Millingons said the Goldenhalo is a more nuanced project, and that it will be more about the community than the developers, and is about the public, not the developers themselves.
“A lot of people don’t understand how big of a project this is.
They think the Goldenland area is a tiny piece of land and that the developers just need a few hectares,” he explained.
“We’re looking at an area of 25,400 hectares and we are talking about about a billion people.”