Mullan calls for more community facilities in Outer North

The Skeoge area where hundreds of new social homes have been built with hundreds more planned. (file pic)
The Skeoge area where hundreds of new social homes have been built with hundreds more planned. (file pic)

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has said any new housing estates being developed locally must contain plans for proper community facilities.

The Foyle MLA was commenting after leading a delegation of Education Authority officials, including the Director of Youth Services, to the Outer North area.

Hundreds of new homes have been created along the Skeoge, Buncrana Road, Greater Galliagh and Shantallow areas over recent years, but concerns have been raised that not enough infrastructure such as schools, shops, youth and community facilities are being developed in tandem to service the growing population.

Previously, local political and community representatives have warned that lessons need to be learned from the historic lack of facilities in the this region in particular.

Recently approved plans for new community centres in Galliagh and Shantallow, and the expansion of facilities at Leafair, designed to help address the need in these areas have been widely welcomed.

Speaking after meeting with the officials, Ms. Mullan said: “It was a positive meeting which gave the community an opportunity to highlight the needs of the young people and groups in the area.

“Community organisations have a number of transformative plans in the place for the area and continue to work in conjunction with the Education Authority, particularly on education and youth programmes.

“Over two years ago, I established a working group following concerns about the lack of new community facilities to meet the surge in new families moving in to recently built houses in the area.

“It’s vital that when much needed social houses are built, new community facilities are factored in as part of any planning.

“We will continue to work with all partners to progress and to ensure there is proper community facilities developed to meet the high demand in Outer North area.”