Long-awaited Derry Community Centre at Culmore Country Park approved
Elected members sitting on the June meeting of the Planning Committee unanimously supported the approval of an application by Derry City & Strabane District Council for a proposed community centre at Culmore Country Park.
The application included a social area, offices, changing rooms, toilets, stores, plant room and meeting rooms with amendments to the layout of the existing car park, provision of compound of 2 no. 1 tonne LPG tanks and secure bin store at lands within and adjoining existing car parking area at Coney Road, Culmore.
The application site was previously a landfill site until 2007 when it was restored and transformed by the council into a green space.
The proposed building will be a contemporary design with a floor area of 691sqm. The building will be finished with cedar timber external doors, aluminium windows to match the aluminium curtain cladding and a sedum green roof is proposed.
An emotional SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins said: “I was gobsmacked when I saw it on the agenda.
“This community centre has been going from pillar to post and sitting on capital projects for so long now, I can’t even count the years.
“A community centre is what’s needed in an area of high deprivation, we are so limited therefore I would like to propose we accept the officers’ recommendation to approve.
“I can’t put into words what it means to me and what it will mean to the people down there”.
Seconding the proposal, Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue added: “Like Councillor Dobbins, while it is not the area I represent I am very much aware that this is an area that needs a community hall and this is an example when the loss of open space can be very positive to the community it serves.”
Committee Chair, Councillor John Boyle added:”I completely concur this is very much needed, it was a long time in arriving and it’s very welcome.”
Local Democracy Reporter