A new social housing flats complex is to be constructed in the Argyle Terrace/ Gander’s Neck area of Derry.
The 16-apartment complex is to be developed by Habinteg Housing Association after planning permission was granted unanimously by Derry City & Strabane District Council Planning Committee at a special meeting on Wednesday.
The housing units and associated parking will be spread over two blocks and will involve the demolition of a vacant property at 2 Argyle Terrace as well as a row of derelict garages.
There will be 12 two-bed flats and four one-bed flats, to be built on land at the rear of Argyle Terrace, with parking spaces and a communal amenity area.
The development will be accessed via a mews lane off Eden Terrace.
The committee was told that the site currently contains dilapidated domestic garage buildings.
Sam McKee from Turley Planning Consultants told the Committee said that at present single people and small families made up the majority of the social housing waiting list.
He added that he hoped the development “will go some way to meeting this live and pressing social housing need”.
He added that there would be social clauses included in the building project.
Planners said that no letters of support or objection have been received.
Proposing the committee accept the recommendation, SDLP Councillor Gus Hastings said: “This is an area that is actually in dilapidation at this time.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan seconded this, saying, “There is a need for social housing.”
Committee chairman, SDLP Councillor John Boyle said he knew the area very well, adding that it was “one that has come up on my radar for all the wrong reasons over a significant period of time”.
He said that as well as incidents of fly tipping, there had also been anti-social behaviour in the area.
Colr. Boyle added that he was glad to see an area being utilised for new residents, as much of the area was now houses of multiple occupation and student accommodation.
A report brought before the committee states: “The redevelopment of the site will remove the existing dilapidated garage buildings and will enhance the appearance of the area when viewed from Eden Terrace and the mews lane.
“The scheme will give identity to the mews lane which is currently addressed by the back of dwellings with their varying proportioned rear returns. The multiple pitched roof design of the apartment blocks draws reference from the context of the surrounding area and mimics the pitched rear returns of the adjacent terraces to aid the integration of the development at this mews location.
“Having considered all material considerations, including the development plan, relevant planning policies, consultations, approval is recommended.”