Derry’s ‘fantastic’ newly approved housing estate to have its own high street

A major housing application at Coshquin Road, Derry has been approved by the council’s Planning Committee with elected representatives describing the proposed development as ‘fantastic to see’.

By Gillian Anderson & Brendan McDaid
Friday, 10th June 2022, 12:00 pm

The reserved matters application from developer Braidwater Limited came before the June meeting of the committee and included details of 740 dwellings, part delivery of a High Street, as well as a new road network and other works.

The site is located on zoned Housing Land ‘H2 – Buncrana Road West’ between the Coshquin and Whitehouse areas of the city. 

Members heard that the dwellings will consist of a mix of 420 social housing units, 250 affordable dwelling units and 70 private housing units and will include townhouses, apartments, semi-detached and detached houses.

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The application also detailed a high street containing a mix of convenience retail store, café/restaurant, retail units, office units, live/work units, gym and community centre.

The committee were also informed that the application also includes the provision of strategic open space in the form of  a town park, an urban green park, a neighbourhood equipped area of play, two local equipped areas of play and a local area of play.

Agent Tom Stokes told the committee the scale of the Cashel proposal is ‘huge and is set to have a positive impact on this city and the wider north west’.

He added: “This is a hugely significant investment of around £100 million with the overall cash flow development comprising of an investment of around £450 million from Braidwater.” 

A close-up of the proposed new community events space in ‘The Cashel’.

Mr Stokes also informed the councillors that the scheme will support and sustain 250 construction jobs and apprenticeships in the local area for the next 10 years.

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Congratulating the team involved in the application, Sinn Fein Councillor Christopher Jackson described it as a ‘top quality application’. 

He said: “The H2 site has been discussed at length in this council and the legacy council and it is key to addressing the social housing need within our city and it’s fantastic to see.”

An impression of the ‘River Glen’ development in ‘The Cashel.’

Proposing the officers recommendation to approve was accepted, Councillor Jackson commented: “This application meets every planning policy, it’s well designed and it’s of a high quality.”

All members were unanimous in their support and the application was approved.

Speaking after the announcement, Finbarr Grogan, Planning and Technical Director with the Braidwater Group, said he was delighted that the first phase of this momentous project has been given the green light.

He said: “The granting of planning permission for phase one of The Cashel is fantastic news for the City.

“The Braidwater Group has a proven track record of delivering large scale projects of this scale, and we look forward to delivering a vital, low-carbon project of which we and the people of the Northwest can be proud.”

The Braidwater Group confirmed plans for phase one includes a vibrant mix of social, affordable and private homes as well as the delivery of a high street, café, retail units, gym and community centre, allowing a range of newly created communities to thrive.

The Cashel will aim to be a low-carbon development throughout construction, with over 3,000 trees planted and a substantial hedgerow initiative among the biodiversity measures planned. The building of various new pedestrian and cycle ways will also help reduce the carbon footprint of the area in the long term.

The scheme is set to provide a substantial economic boost to the area, with approximately 250 construction jobs and apprenticeships earmarked, while local suppliers and subcontractors will also benefit positively from the works. Importantly, a large financial contribution will be made by Braidwater towards the Buncrana Road improvement and widening scheme.

Barry Kerr, Director of Development at Apex Housing Association, who have been working with Braidwater said: “Achieving planning for phase one of this development is great news as this will make a significant contribution towards addressing the substantial housing need in the local area. Importantly, this project will be developed with a strong emphasis on the environment which is a key priority for our organisation.” More information on this major development can be found at www.thecashel.com.

Brendan McDaid & Gillian Anderson, Local Democracy Reporter