SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has welcomed confirmation from Oaklee Trinity housing association that contoversial plans to open an alcohol addition unit at Nazareth House in Derry have been scrapped.
Mr Durkan, who attended last month’s meeting in opposition to the plans – and also wrote to Oaklee Trinity calling for a rethink of the balance and mix of their proposals – said:
“I welcome this decision by Oaklee Trinity after considering the strength of concerns expressed and the call for the balance and mix of these proposals to be reconfigured to ensure the optimum use of such a significant site.
“It was clear to me that many residents recognised the wider city need for facilities to help address alcohol and other dependencies but questioned the suitability of location and scale of the proposed unit and proximity to other services.”
Mr Durkan has also said the issue highlights the compelling case for investing in wider service infrastructure for people with alcohol or other dependencies in Derry – including a detox unit – and is calling for a more joined-up cross border approach to address the problem.
He said: “In terms of the need for more facilities and services to help in respect of alcohol and other dependencies, the wider city case for investing in service infrastructure including a detox unit is compelling.
“There is also the obvious need for a more joined-up cross border approach so that the quality of service in a facility like Whiteoaks can be sensibly commissioned for people who live in Derry and the North.
“There is also the need for supported residential services as part of a longer term support infrastructure but their scale and location will need sensitive planning.”