Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
Norton Town Council has completed its new master plan which is expected to guide the development of the area for the next 15 to 20 years, an official has said.
In an interview, town secretary Mr Kizito Muhomba said they were looking forward to getting approval of the master plan from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
“We have been able to finish our master plan which will help us control development of various industries and residential areas in a systematic manner,” he said. “We want to do away with haphazard and unplanned growth.
“We are only awaiting to get approval from the parent ministry.”
Mr Muhomba said order brought about by the master plan would unlock a number of opportunities for the town, 40 kilometres from Harare along the Harare-Bulawyo highway.
“We believe approval of the document will unlock a lot of value because a lot of land now can be put to urban use, so we are very excited about this,” he said.
Mr Muhomba lamented the fact that while Norton had no land for expansion for residential purposes, the town had a housing backlog of about 13 000.
“We are closed in and we have nowhere to expand to, yet we have to meet Government’s quota of housing delivery while we have no land,” he said.
“Our housing waiting list backlog has about 13 000 people yet we have a growing population of over 68 000 people. The population is very fluid now in the sense that those who have been on the waiting list for over three years and could not get stands eventually lose interest and search elsewhere.”
Mr Muhomba said other local authorities seem to have taken advantage of the geographical situation and established their own residential settlements right at the boundaries of the town.
Private developers are also establishing new residential properties around Norton.