There’s no doubt Derry has taken its newest public space at Ebrington to its heart - but what do we want to see happen to this much-loved site?
That’s the question currently being asked by the city’s urban regeneration company, Ilex, through an ongoing public consultation that they’ve called the ‘Ebrington Development Framework’.
On Friday past, local people were invited to call into St Columb’s Park House where they could see the Ilex proposals for Ebrington’s future use and fill in a short questionnaire on how the vast space should best be used. This was the first stage of the public consultation and will lead to a future outline planning application for Ebrington.
So much has already been done to enhance the site in recent years. Once a mysterious military base, Ebrington Barracks has been transformed since the construction of the award-winning Peace Bridge. Though progress has been slow and steady, we have seen the development of Cunningham Square and Ebrington Square and we’ve seen the construction of the Venue especially for 2013 celebrations. Now, with work underway to create more car parking space and buildings 80 and 81 being fitted out as temporary exhibition space for Turner Prize 2013.
Mo Durkan of Ilex explained further: “It’s people’s ideas, concerns and suggestions that we want to hear. Then we put these all together and make proposals for the actual site itself. What do people want to see on site? What do they definitely not want to see? That’s what we’re trying to find out here.”
Caoimhin Corrigan from Ilex said that the initial consultation process has been “very positive”.
“Now the site is open and people have a real feel for it, we feel that Ebrington is ours. We need to know what Derry needs, and crucially that’s about employment ”
Ilex are seeking the views of everybody in the city. You can provide your own view on the Ilex website, Facebook and Twitter pages, or by contacting Laurence McCullagh at Ilex. The second phase of consultation kicks off soon, after which an outline planning application for the entire site will be submitted in January.