Over 220 homes approved across four sites in Derry

The former Immaculate Conception College needs to be demolished. DER1916GS045
The former Immaculate Conception College needs to be demolished. DER1916GS045

Over 220 new homes across four different sites in the city have been approved today by the Council’s Planning Committee.

Four separate applications for social and private housing developments were given the green light at the Committee’s March meeting held in Strabane.

The separate applications were for new homes at the former Immaculate Conception College site in Top Of the Hill, the former Earth Nightclub complex on Strand Road, lower Galliagh and Tullyally.

The first application will see the demolition of two large school buildings at the 2.91 hectare former Immaculate Conception College site, with 78 new social homes to be built there, and accessed off Corrody Road and Trench Road.

The approval of the Apex Housing plans have been welcomed by local Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson.

Speaking afterwards, he said the development was “much anticipated”, and “the only significant social housing development in this part of the Waterside in a generation”.

“For many people currently homeless, this development is the only prospect of them finding a home of their own,” he added.

Council officers also backed an application to demolish the existing pub as part of the Earth Nightclub complex and construct 14 two bedroom apartments and two three bedroom apartments on the site,

Jim Kelley from the Aberfoyle & Duncreggan Residents’ Association had argued against the application being rubber-stamped by Councillors on the grounds it would add to parking congestion in the area and concerns over the traffic survey utilised.

However Paul Horscroft and Maurice Maguire, representing the applicant, argued that the development would help regenerate this area of the city centre.

Mr Maguire said the development “ticks all the boxes” in terms of helping to create a vibrant city centre with people living, working and enjoying recreation there.

Proposing the committee go with the Planner’s recommendation to approve. Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan said: “The idea of a derelict building of that size in that area of the city looks bad.”

Eight Councillors backed the plans, three voted against and there was one abstention.

The Committee have also given their approval for full planning permission for the erection of 47 new residential units at lands at Ferndale Park in Lower Galliagh, Derry.

The residential units comprise of 8 duplex apartments, 12 two-storey duplex units, 14 two- storey semis, six storey and a half semis and nine three-storey semis with associated landscaping, open space, parking and new road at lands west of Ferndale Park and south of Skeoge Link Road, Lower Galliagh, Derry.

The application was submitted by BW Homes & Construction Ltd on a site of approximately 1.2 hectares, located on zoned housing lands as defined in the Derry Area Plan.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins welcomed the development and said the new homes were great news for the area and people on the waiting list.

Proposing the Committee accept the recommendation to approve, Colr. Dobbins said: “I want to congratulate everyone involved for all the effort they put into this.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan said the housing was very welcome and pointed out that there were now over 2,000 people in housing stress.

He further warned that there were “people on the social housing waiting list for four years with 130 points and it’s not moving.”

In a fourth separate development, members of the Planning Committee, approved 85 new homes in the Ivy Mead area of Tullyally.

The development consists of a mixture of two-storey detached and semi-detached dwellings and townhouses with associated landscaping, with open space and access road at lands at Tullyally Road, Drumahoe.

Members were informed how the application was submitted by O’Kane & Devine and the area in questions consists of approximately 4.2 hectares.

There were 11 objections received during the processing of the application, but the Council unanimously backed it.

The Committee was told that this would be the final phase of housing the Ivy Mead area.