Clooney Greenway funding for land

DUP Councillor Drew Thompson.
DUP Councillor Drew Thompson.

A Derry City & Strabane District Council Committee have approved over £60,000 to purchase the land needed for the Clooney Greenway.

The council was told that the officers have already entered into negotiations with landowners to acquire part of their lands to form the walking and cycle greenway corridor.

The proposed project traverses lands in the ownership of the Education Authority, Habinteg Housing Association, NI Housing Executive and the Department for Communities.

The committee was told that the project has secured full planning permission and that the total area of lands to be acquired is around 4.2 hectares, valued at £61,400.

Officers have been liaising with landowners, and a breakdown of the costs showed that the Education Authority’s two plots at Nelson Drive and Elder Crescent was costing £60,000, while the Housing Executive lands at Heron Way were £1,400. Both Department for Communities’ plots at Heron Way and Harkness Gardens, will be sold for a nominal premium of £1, as will Habinteg Housing Association’s lands at Harkness Gardens.

The entire cost of constructing the greenway meanwhile will be £481,502 plus VAT, and the Committee was told that a funding application and business case have been lodged to the Department for Communities (DfC) in the sum of £302,023 for the capital works.

DUP Councillor Drew Thompson said he was “a wee bit cynical regarding the £60,000 to get a couple of strips of land” from the Education Authority. “Other groups gave it for a nominal fee. I would have thought the EA would have as well, but I would have no problem in proposing this.”