Derry & Strabane’s Planning Committee have gone against a recommendation to refuse a new house being constructed in one of the city’s most desirable estates.
Planners had recommended that the committee reject the plans for a two storey dwelling on the grounds of 1 Boomhall Park in the Culmore area. The house is located within a four-home cluster close to the Foyle Bridge.
A Planning Officer told the Committee at a meeting in Strabane on Wednesday that the site consisted of a portion of the front garden of the address, including part of the existing driveway. The proposal was recommended for refusal on the grounds that it would have an unacceptable impact upon the established character of the area, while the density would not match the rest of the homes there.
Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Mr. & Mrs. John McGowan, Agent Liam Nelis told the committee that if the house was to be built, the grounds at 1 Boom Hill Park would still be larger than the neighbouring properties.
Mr. Nelis said there are currently two log cabins on the proposed dwelling site with permanent planning permission and said these would be removed if planning consent was granted for the new dwelling.
A planning officer, however, said that log cabins would have been considered under different planning policies.
SDLP Councillor Gus Hastings said that “in terms of aesthetics, I would have thought an ordinary house would be preferable”.
SDLP Councillor John Boyle agreed with the agent that there was precedent for additional dwellings being built in large gardens in Derry.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan proposed the committee go against the recommendation to refuse, stating that the house did not seem to be out of character for the area.
Eight other committee members agreed, while two abstained from the vote. The matter will now be brought back before the committee at a later date.