Mixed views on Caw plans

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SDLP councillor Gus Hastings has expressed concern over plans to build a hotel and shopping centre close to the Foyle Bridge.

The application, for a 100 bed hotel and shopping centre on land close to the Foyle Bridge at Caw, was discussed at a meeting of Derry City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Colr. Hastings said if the application is approved it would increase the volume of traffic in the area . He also questioned whether there is a need for another shopping centre in the city.

“There is already a problem with traffic in the area. This is close to the Foyle Bridge roundabout and that is an area where we regularly see traffic problems.

“They say they intend to build a 100 bed hotel and shopping centre but the number of shopping centres suggested in the last nine months is unbelievable.

“I would say there is no need for another one,” he said.

Colr. Hastings also said careful consideration would need to be given to any new developments in the area.

“We need to look at the way the roads are laid out. Although I am not opposed to development per se, we have to look at what this city can use in terms of capacity. We can’t just build for the sake of building,” he added.

DUP alderman Joe Miller also raised concerns about traffic but said more shopping centres would lead to more competition and better value for money for consumers.

“Our only concern would be traffic and that a traffic impact assessment should be carried out. If firms are willing to invest millions of pounds and open a store in our city and compete with other firms, and if I can put it in its simplest terms, sell a loaf of bread for less than someone else, who are we to stop it?

“We can’t decide how many loaves of bread are sold in our city or where people should shop. That is called competition, which is good for shoppers.

“Our only concern about this application relates to traffic,” he said.

Plans for the new shopping centre at Lisnagelvin, which will replace the existing centre, were also discussed at the meeting.

Alderman Miller welcomed the development and said it would be welcomed by local people. He added that the only concern he had concerned the proposed road layout.

Sinn Féin colr. Lynn Fleming also welcomed the development and said work on the site would lead to construction jobs and possibly additional jobs when the larger centre is completed.

SDLP colr. Thomas Conway said he would like to see local people employed in the construction of the new district centre at Lisnagelvin.