WINNIPEG -- A move to allow residential development in the Polo Park area may be going forward despite concerns from the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

On Tuesday the mayor's executive policy committee endorsed a plan for council to vote on the first reading of a bylaw that would change zoning in the Polo Park area.

The changes are needed to allow for apartments or condos at the former stadium site. The site has seen a number of retailers pop up in recent years, filling the large building and parking lot left empty when Target closed all its Canadian locations in 2015.

But there remains an empty lot along Empress Street, between St. Matthews Avenue and Maroons Road.

The WAA worries the move to build residential developments could lead to an increase in noise complaints and jeopardize the airport's 24-hour operations.

"There may be opportunity for development, in my view, along Portage Avenue, perhaps along St. James as well,” said Scott Gillingham, the counsellor for St. James and a member of EPC. “I don’t know that for sure, but as the area’s councillor, I was looking at us to look at that. On the other hand, the airport’s operations are critical to the city’s economy, so my view is that needs to be taken into consideration as well.”

If the first reading is approved by council a public hearing would then be held before the final votes.

-Edited by Danton Unger