‘We won’t let city’s most famous viewpoint be destroyed’ say residents

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Residents living in one of Derry’s most picturesque areas say they will not give up the fight to preserve the local beauty spot in the face of new plans lodged to build a housing development there.

Householders at Dunfield Terrace in the Waterside with its famous panoramic views of Derry, have consistently protested against development in the area for over three decades, and say they’re surprised that despite previous rejections, new plans have now been submitted for consideration.

They claim a proposal to build 20 houses at what’s known locally as The Old Quarry site, will destroy the area for future generations.

Dunfield Terrace resident Felicity McCall said people in the area had already started lobbying local politicians and would not rest until plans were firmly rejected once and for all.

Ms. McCall added: “We believed that with the council endorsement of the Planners rejection of a previous related application on such definitive and long lasting grounds, that we had secured our environemnt for future generations, but after 34 years the message is clear- we will not give up.

The view form Dunfield is oen of the most photographed, filmed and promoted vistas of Derry- it must not be obscured and turned into a building site during our Culture year.”

In a letter which is being circulated to people living in the area this weekend, a number of reasons to oppose the development have been clearly laid out, including the fact that not one of the 199 adjoining houses has any personal green space and the planned development will take away the only green space available to local people.

In an objection letter being sent to planning authorties residents say that a small viewpoint included as part of the development plans will in no way compensate for the “obstruction of one the most widely photographed images of the city.”

Ms. McCall added that congestion in the built up area also means that it’s often difficult for emergency vehicles to make their way through the are, a problem she believes will worsen if the development is given the go ahead.

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey, who has previously supported the residents’ campaign, says this time he will go directly to Environment Minister Alex Attwood if a satisfactory outcome is not reached with planning authorities locally.

Mr. Ramsey said: “Given these recent plans it would be a crying shame if planning permission was granted which would effectively destroy one of the most scenic beauty spots in the city. It would be a huge loss to the entire city and would have a totally detrimental impact on traffic congestion in the area.

“I intend to write to Alex Attwood on this situation and if necessary we will take a deputation to him on the issue if we believe it to be appropriate. The fight will continue to preserve this scenic area,” he added.