Dunfield objections lodged

Pictured handing in letters of objection at Orchard House are Pat Ramsey MLA and Felicity McCall. (1109PG13)
Pictured handing in letters of objection at Orchard House are Pat Ramsey MLA and Felicity McCall. (1109PG13)

Residents campaigning against the building of a housing development at a site which gives spectacular views of the city have been inundated with support for their fight against the latest plans.

The site, opposite houses at Dunfield Terrace has been the subject of different planning controversies spanning a period of three decades but people living in the area remain passionate about preserving what they claim is one of the city’s most scenic spots.

Now as well as gaining huge support for the fight against plans, residents have had offers of help to clean up the disused site and restore it as a green space for whole community, they also say they’ll investigate the possibility of having it designated as a public right of way.

On Friday, Residents’ spokesperson Felicity McCall handed almost 300 letters of objection to the latest plans for the bulding of 21 houses in the area to the city planning office at Orhcard House. She was joined by Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey who has consistently supported residents in their opposition to a residential development in the area.

Ms. McCall said: “The goodwill and community spirit is amazing, and there have been many offers of volunteering for one or hours a week to tidy up the site, cut the grass, clear the litter, uncover the summer seats which are still there buried in grass and restore the top of the quarry to the amenity it once was. I’d always been told that the problem here was that we would be committing trespass and liable to prosecution by the owner- even though it’s not fenced off. There is no legal obligation on the owner to tidy it up. However Pat Ramsey- now supported by William Hay is to ask council to investigate whether it could constitute common ground or right of way.”

Ms. McCall said the area has huge potential if it were to be transformed ahead of next year.

“Our intervention is timely given the big drive to take pride in our city for 2013 and it would cost nothing, I know various conservation groups would love to be involved and what a showpiece we could make it for Culture Year,” she said. She added that residents were overwhelmed with the good wishes they had received,

“We’ve certainly touched a chord and we in Dunfield are both humbled and grateful at this outpouring of support,” she said.