Last week, at an elaborate ceremony in Ilesa, the outgoing Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, brought the hope of urbanisation of the town to life, flagging off the construction of an ultra-modern housing estate in Ilesa- the Ilesa New Town (Palm Dale Estate), to improve on the standard of living and general well-being of the people of the state. This comes under the New Towns and Areas Development initiative of the administration. The initiative, it is believed, is to build a fantastic human habitat, modern and smart settlement that will help to improve on the well-being of the citizenry and as well drive the socioeconomic development of the state, and that of Ijeshaland.
The new town, upon completion, will sit on approximately 290.173 hectares of land, with the following features: serviced residential plots numbering about 700 plots in all which are of Low, Medium and High Densities of average 800m2, 1200m2 and 3000m2 respectively; public and semi-public uses; commercial uses such as the hotels and event centres and support retail facilities and a State-of-the-art Golf Course.
According to the Director-General, Osun New Towns and Growth Areas Development Authority (ONT&GADA), Olumuyiwa Ige, an architect, the project will be developed as a truly liveable Smart City. He explained that the development was being executed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
To this end, the SAO-MUSTARD Concept group, the DG explained, having demonstrated capacity, are anchoring the flag-off development as a growth pole development strategy in developing Ilesa New Town. He explained that a portion of the estate, measuring approximately 91.720 hectares, including the Golf Course, has therefore been allocated to SAO-MUSTARD Concept for a comprehensive development.
Ige explained that for would-be subscribers to the project, features in the estate and the actual apartments would include but not limited to: general indoor spaces; all bedrooms would be ensuite toilets and bath facilities; kitchen with store and laundry; double vaulted living areas; dining area; courtyard; landscaped green environment; family lounge, among others.
He explained that the location of the estate is just two minutes drive to the expressway; five minutes drive to the community market; five minutes drive to University Teaching Hospital Complex (Wesley Guild); five minutes drive to community schools; 10 minutes drive to King’s Market and 10 minute drive to banks and financial institutions among others.
Ige, who justified the project by insisting that as a result of steady urban growth, the need to create a New Town within the large expanse of hitherto Ilesa Leventis Foundation limited became imperative. This informed the choice of a portion of the land towards Osun Ankara for the project.
“The idea of developing Ilesa New Town by this Administration is just in tandem with pioneering New Town in the state, Oranmiyan New Town, which is within the State Capital Territory so that the Towns will turn out as models of beautiful and pleasant places for living and recreating,” Ige said.
That Aregbesola takes delight in the project is understandable. Firstly, the idea to build modern housing estates across the nine Federal Constituencies in the state by his administration had been conceptualised before he took over adminitration. Also, the project when completed will complement his administration’s efforts at providing affordable shelter for the people of the state through housing scheme. It is also in fulfillment of his administration’s commitment to make life more abundant, meaningful and worthwhile for the people of the state. Importantly, the project represents a fulfilment of the desire to modernise the town, especially when it is considered that it was developed with old technology at its inception.
“What we are doing today is phenomenal. We contacted UN-Habitat to help us fashion out modern structure across our nine federal constituencies. It took them one and half years to come up with their submission. It is their (UN-Habitat) submission that we have started implementing starting with the Oranmiyan New Town Development in Oshogbo. The location of this project is the highest point in Ilesa; the sun also sets here. So I encourage you all to be part of it,” Aregbesola said, adding that the Ilesa New Town is in tandem with his administration’s six-point integral action plan.