Lowry’s Lane proposals “a short-term fix’

Residents have raised concerns over proposals to erect gates at a laneway, notorious for anti-social behaviour.

Late last year Derry City Council heard proposals to erect gates at Lowry’s Lane in Hatmore, which would be opened and closed by a warden, operated by the council. However some residents have expressed concerns over the proposal, claiming that gating off Lowry’s Lane is not a solution to the under-age drinking and that more needs to be done for the young people of area.

Hatmore resident John Barrett claims that he and other residents have not been properly consulted with by the council on these issues.

Mr Barrett said: “I’m opposed to these proposals because a lot of the residents feel like we haven’t been properly consulted with by the council.

“I use the lane to walk to work like a lot of other people, especially shift workers, and we haven’t been told any opening or closing times.”

Other parts of the city, including the Rosemount area, have introduced this gating system in an effort to combat anti-social behaviour. However Mr Barrett said that the council should provide more options.

“These gates are just a short term solution to a long term problem,” Mr Barrett said. “The young people will just move to another part of the area and the same thing will happen again.

“The council should provide something for the young people. I welcome Doire Colmcille coming into the area. Hopefully they will engage with the young people but there should be some sort of public involvement like a park or club or this problem won’t just go away,” Mr Barrett continued.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council explained that it held a public information event at the end of November to discuss potential upgrade works for Lowry’s Lane. The proposed plans are at the early stages of development and are subject to securing external funding and planning permission before going ahead. Under the proposed plan the gated access will be opened at 6.30am and closed at 10.30pm with responsibility for this yet to be confirmed and are subject to approval by statutory agencies including the DRD Road Service.

The spokesperson said that residents have the opportunity to raise any concerns or objections to the proposals through the planning process.