WINCHESTER – A seemingly simple proposal for an agricultural equipment repair shop on Shaw Road has residents in the west end of the municipality fighting back.

On the books is a rezoning application from Kees Van Winden to permit construction of a 50-by-55 foot facility.

Van Winden, formerly of K&R Repairs, has decided to make a go on his own.

“I just want to make a living on this property…. Not make a mess,” he said during a public meeting Tues., July 16.

Van Winden’s comment came after a chorus of derision from property owners on the road.

The gallery was brimming with residents of the rural stretch near Hallville, some backing Van Winden’s submission, but most urgently calling on council to deny the proposal.

One resident, Kevin Klempan, tabled a petitioning of 32 signatures from residents condemning the plan.

“I’m completely opposed to this plan… Shaw Road is primarily used by kids riding bikes, walkers and those riding horses. It’s a rural road with limited traffic,” he said. “It will not be close to the agricultural community it purports to support, and in my opinion a shop like this should be in an area with light industries.”

Klempan and other residents also drew attention to the potential of an increase in noise, light and dust from the facility’s creation, and the likelihood of stray farm equipment laying about the property.

For Van Winden’s part, he noted much of his work is done in the field, and the shop would simply act as a space for tools and more in depth repairs that cannot be completed elsewhere.

Calvin Pol, North Dundas’ director of planning, building and bylaw, noted that both the provincial policy statement and SD&G’s official plan would support the placement of the shop on the land in question.

The township, meanwhile, could control many of the criticisms brought forward by residents through site plan control.

“Given some of the concerns brought up, though I will say it is not solely the residents’ decision, I think it’s important we get more information for the legitimate concerns,” Deputy-Mayor Al Armstrong said.

Added Councillor John Thompson: “I will say, there was a lot of speculation in the comments made tonight. A site plan would handle a lot of this. I don’t believe it is a space that’s going to become a scrap yard.

Council is set to return to the issue during a meeting Tues., July 30.