Valuation as College take-over is probed

Immaculate Conception College
Immaculate Conception College

Derry City Council is to consider purchasing Immaculate Conception College and has ordered an assessment of its market value.

Land and Property Services have been appointed to carry out the valuation on the 12-acre Gobnascale site.

The school, which is to close next year, despite a campaign spearheaded by parents to keep it open, sits next to the Council’s Corrody Park, which is earmarked for a multi-million re-development.

Derry City Council’s Development Committee rubber-stamped the move at their October meeting on Tuesday.

In a report brought before the committee, council officers said that meetings with the Waterside Parish have “indicated a willingness to enter into discussions regarding the transfer of the site to Council”.

The report adds that in order to progress discussions on the potential transfer of the college site it will be necessary to carry out the land valuation.

Design proposals were unveiled in July this year for a massive parkland development with a new community centre, GAA, MUGA and football pitches.

The new outline plans would see 40 acres off the Corrody Road area transformed, increasing to 52-acres if the College site is transferred.

Speaking at this month’s meeting of the same committee, Sinn Fein Councillor Elisha McCallion proposed that the valuation recommendation be endorsed.

Colr. McCallion has also requested an update on the status of two other community facility projects earmarked for the Galliagh and Ballymagroarty areas.

Speaking after the meeting, SF Councillor Christopher Jackson said: “This is another building block towards the Masterplan that will service the overall needs of TOTH and the wider Waterside area. The lack of facilities was highlighted in recent weeks when local sports groups had to cancel training due to the availability of the school hall. This isn’t acceptable for an area as large as top of the hill with a high youth population.”