Concerns raised over Prehen ‘revocation’

Prehen Woods.
Prehen Woods.

A Derry Councillor has raised concerns over why issues surrounding a housing development at Prehen have been passed to the Council for decision.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has written to the council regarding a Notice of Proposal to part revocation planning permission with regards to two applications.

The letter involves planning granted for four houses off Prehen Park back in 2007, and for minor amendments on the same site in 2010.

Two years ago the DoE served part revocation notices, but a subsequent Planning Appeal Commission hearing in 2014 recommended that these be withdrawn.

An Independent Review was commissioned by the Minister and submitted to his department in May this year.

In a report brought before Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, a council official said Mr Durkan had written suggesting that the new supercouncil had responsibility to decide how to proceed with the notices.

In response, the Council agreed to seek confirmation that his Department is not intending to use its own retained powers of revocation.

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue said: “Given that this has gone to two Ministers, on two occasions, I am very concerned this is now being batted down to Council for our decision. I am concerned there could be legal and monetary costs to this issue so quite rightly we should be very concerned about this issue and should be seeking clarity on why indeed the Minister has put it in our lap.”

A Council officers said that there may also be other legacy cases brought before the new council committee.

SDLP Councillor John Boyle said that if it comes back that it is the council, as a council they would have to be big enough to make decisions.