Prime 6.9 acre Kelly’s coal depot site on market for offers over £2,500,000

A huge development site at a key location on the Derry riverfront has come on the market for offers over a cool £2,500,000.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 1:08 pm

The old Kelly’s coal depot that sits on a prime location on the Pennyburn opposite Fort George is being sold by John Kelly Ltd., the fuel company that has owned it for decades.

Stephen Deyermond, a partner at TDK Property Consultants which is handling the sale, told the ‘Journal’ it represents a major opportunity for potential investors.

While approximately two thirds or 4.5 acres of the site are currently under lease until April 30, 2022, the site will be an attractive proposition due to its central riverside location.

The huge site at 5 Bay Road.

“We are delighted to be bringing this strategic development site to the market at this time.

“The site is strategically located at the Buncrana Road/Strand Road and Bay Road junction, and with the waterfront location and proximity to Fort George it has potential for a number of different uses,” he said.

Under the Derry Area Plan the 6.9 acre site is designated as unzoned ‘white land’ and, as such, is suitable for a variety of purposes subject to planning permission.

Mr. Deyermond said its attractiveness will be further enhanced by Derry City & Strabane District Council’s plans to build a bridge across the Pennyburn as part of the Derry to Muff Greenway project.

“The new cycle way will also add to the accessibility of the site. We are delighted to offer for sale this strategic landholding next to Fort George. The site has great views being next to the Pennyburn Inlet/ River Foyle,” he remarked.

For decades the site was used as a coal storage and distribution yard by the Kelly group. However, the company has now enlisted TDK to sell the property. Offers of over £2,500,000 are being invited with an initial closing deadline for expressions of interest listed as 12 noon on June 24.

A sales brochure points out that a would-be buyer would be able to avail of existing warehousing and office space.

“The site measures approx. 6.9 acres (2.8 Hectares). The site benefits from two large warehouses an office building and a large, covered storage area.”

TDK also highlights the flexibility afforded by the site’s neutral planning status.

“It has excellent views across the River Foyle. The property is currently zoned as white land under the Derry Area Pan 2011. The property is located on the opposite side of the Pennyburn Inlet from the Fort George site which has outline planning permission over 985,000 sq. ft. of mixed use space to include office, retail, multi storey car parking, R&D Facilities as well as community spaces.

“The land on the river front has recently been acquired by the local council for the North Western Green-way Network in Partnership with Sustrans to develop a new cross border cycle network which includes a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Pennyburn Inlet.”

It’s over a year since DC&SDC lodged a planning application for its proposed 62-metre bridge across the Pennyburn. Speaking last May Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of SEUPB said: “This bridge is an integral section of the North West Greenway Network’s route 2, which will link Derry to Muff. It will encourage more people to choose an eco-friendly form of travel, one of the core objectives of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, which has been designed to support more sustainable forms of transport, on both sides of the border.”

She said that it was important post-COVID to ‘rebuild our society and the economy in a more environmentally-conscious way. This greenway will help support a more socially distanced recovery process, an approach that will pay real and tangible dividends for us all in the future.’

A year on and TDK are similarly upbeat about the city in pitching the site. They state that the city “is the second biggest city in NI and is the regional capital of the Northwest of the island of Ireland”.

“It has a population of 108,000 with an urban area population of 240,000. Derry/Londonderry has good transport links to the rest of the province and other transport hubs include a regional airport which carried approx. 186,000 passengers in 2019 and a deep water port that handles roughly 2 million tonnes of cargo each year,” its brochure states.