Still some issues around 200 homes

The new houses are to be built south of the Skeoge Link Road (pictured).
The new houses are to be built south of the Skeoge Link Road (pictured).

There are still outstanding issues around the application for almost 200 social homes in Derry, planners have said.

The note of caution was issued as the official approval for the 197 homes south of Skeoge Link Road were rubber-stamped by Derry City Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday.

Speaking about the Apex application for the housing and associated site works and landscaping, Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan said there had been issues previously with Article 40 and congratulated the Planners “for finding a way to make this application approved”.

Mr Hassan added that at the last meeting on housing, it was said that Derry needed 1,500 new social homes over the next five years.

“Really and truly we need them now,” he said.

Chair of the Planning Committee, SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins also thanked the Planners for all their help in getting the application through.

A representative from the Planning Service told the committee that there remained some outstanding issues around the application and that it might take a while to resolve these issues.

Ms Dobbins replied: “I hope it doesn’t take too long.”

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan welcomed Derry City Council giving their backing for “this much needed boost to social housing in this area”.

Mr Durkan said the development opposite Lower Galliagh Road will “provide a varied mix of housing units to cater for all the future residents including a house for people with complex needs” in an area of “acute social need”.

He added: “There is a real boost to the local economy as well, ensuring much needed construction jobs in these hard economic times.

The plans include one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom housing. The housing will be a mix of single to three storey, predominately semi-detached with some small scale terrace rows. There will also be a bus stop.