Community ‘at heart of plans’

L-R Mark O Doherty, Pearse's GAC, Geraldine O'Donnell,  Project Co-ordinator Hillcrest Trust, Maeve McLaughlin MLA , Karen Mullan Manager Hillcrest Trust, and Councillor Christopher Jackson.
L-R Mark O Doherty, Pearse's GAC, Geraldine O'Donnell, Project Co-ordinator Hillcrest Trust, Maeve McLaughlin MLA , Karen Mullan Manager Hillcrest Trust, and Councillor Christopher Jackson.

Getting new community infrastructure right will form a vital element of the new Top Of the Hill Masterplan, a local councillor has warned.

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said it was extremely important that everyone works to ensure that the Masterplan becomes a reality.

He was speaking after Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin met groups in the area to discuss local facilities.

Colr. Jackson said: “A new community centre is a key part of the masterplan for the Top the Hill area and as groups in the area are heavily reliant on Immaculate Conception College for community facilities, with the imminent school closure in June there is a real concern the community cannot afford to lose any of these groups or services. So there is an urgent need for us be forward thinking and planning around all that.”

He added: “Maeve’s advice and insight today has been invaluable. We have a great opportunity to ensure the new community building will be a state of the art, fit for purpose building addressing the needs of all our community from birth into older age. There is an onus on all of us to make this a reality.”

The plans, unveiled last summer by Derry City Council, involve a massive parkland development with a new community centre, GAA, MUGA and football pitches.

The outline plans would see 40 acres off the Corrody Road area transformed as part of the huge development, and the new facility may also include the current 12-acre Immaculate Conception College site, once the school closes later this year.

Derry City Council’s Development Committee back in July 2014 agreed to approve the overall Corrody Park/Top Of The Hill masterplan site layout.

This has allowed those behind the proposals to progress to the next stage looking at planning permissions needed.

Work has also been undertaken to cost the entire project.