Norton Town Council runs out of expansion land

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By Alois Vinga

NORTON Town Council (NTC) has tabled plans to approach government for more land to accommodate the town’s surging population which is struggling.

Speaking to recently, NTC acting town secretary, Blessing Mutyambizi revealed said this will go a long way to ease accommodation needs in the town.

“We are currently finalising our urban masterplan which will enable us to approach relevant authorities in anticipation to unlock more land for our population. Our hope is that the authorities may be able to hand over the nearby farms for housing development,” he said.

Mutyambizi revealed that the town currently has a population hovering around 68 000 people with many failing to acquire residential stands.

“As it stands we can’t expand beyond the set boundaries because the town has run out of land for expansion,” he said.

The NTC is also seized with formalising the town’s informal sector by building vending sites to operate from. The program is being spearheaded through the NTC housing.

“We are also trying, although this is at a pilot stage, to come up with what we are calling Local Economic Development Plans with the intention to spur development at a local level.

“This will see residents coming up with projects to transform their lives. We haven’t moved much but we are just starting,” he said.

Mutyambizi also said NTC is on a vigorous exercise of building market stalls to cover most of the wards in the town with an emphasis on Katanga which is the life center of the town.

“We have got a market stall which we are constructing to comply with social distancing and other Covid19 protocols. We are anticipating that each should accommodate 40.

“It’s not enough given the levels of need but it’s a good start. So this year alone we are anticipating to build four of those vendor stalls plus public toilets. The issue of sanitation is also paramount in the town,” he added.