Residents have vowed to work towards a “resolution for all” after failing to halt planning permission being granted at an “iconic site” overlooking Derry city.
The Dunfield Residents Association have said they will now work towards bringing ther matter to a “mutually beneficial” conclusion.
A statement to this affect was read out by resident spokesperson Felicity McCall, after planners revealed at Tuesday’s October meeting of Derry City Council’s Planning Committee that they were approving a housing development.
Foyleview Builders Ltd have now got the go ahead to construct 20 split-level units at lands opposite properties at Dunfield Terrace in the Top Of The Hill area.
The campaign to halt the housing complex and develop what residents argued was one of Derry’s main viewing platforms has been going on for several years.
Despite 282 letters of objection and a 34-signature petition against the development, Planners said they could find no reason to stop the development after examining all the issues carefully.
The application had been previously deferred but was re-listed after Roads Service provided a new Technical Note based on a traffic impact assessment which dated back to 2007.
SDLP Councillors Gerard Diver and Thomas Conway raised concerns that the volume of traffic and pressure on the infrastructure could well have changed within that seven-year period.
His party colleague Gerard Diver had earlier said that the application had evoked “strong feeling” from the local community.
“The Dunfield Residents Association have been resolute and unswerving in terms of their campaign. They have galvanised support across the city and across political lines as well.
“We all know the stunning views that are available from that particular area and I know people are very, very passionate about that.”
Colr. Diver added: “I have spoken to Planners in relation to this and I appreciate fully that in their view that everything that could be taken into consideration has properly been done at this stage.”
Colr. Diver said there had been some concerns raised by residents around the process, and whether it was user-friendly. He also asked the Planners what the chances were for any future deferral.
A Planning officer said that “absolutely everything on the file to date has been taken onboard” before a decision to approve the development was reached.
Ms. McCall attended the meeting with fellow residents’ representative John O’Donnell.
She said afterwards: “The Dunfield Residents Association and our many, many supporters throughout the city and beyond applaud the sustained and committed all-party support from our elected representatives in this procedural matter.
“We remain positive and committed to actively working for a mutually beneficial resolution for all involved for the future of this iconic site.”