New Prehen pontoon to open within months in Derry

The new pontoon at Prehen Boathouse will be operational within the next couple of months, Derry & Strabane Councillors have been told.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 4:58 pm

Members of the Health and Community Committee received a report updating them on the work currently under way and informing them that annual fees of £400 will be charged to the sports clubs and other user groups for access to the new pontoon.

SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell said: “Obviously we have got a fantastic asset in the Foyle and we are trying to increase its usage through water sports and this pontoon at the boathouse is one way to deliver that.”

The Ballyarnett councillor queried the £400 fee and if any of the user groups had found it an ‘acceptable figure’.

An artist's impression of the completed pontoon which is nearly ready for use.

Barry O’Hagan, Head of Service informed the committee the fee had been ‘benchmarked against other similar facilities’ and that council have had ‘ongoing engagement with user groups and there has been no opposition’.

The report also noted that ‘as per Council’s pricing schedule, commercial rates of 300% would be applicable to private enterprises wishing to access the facility’.

Members unanimously approved the recommendation to approve the operational plans for the new pontoon at Prehen Boathouse and approve facility and rental charges for club storage.

The new pontoon will provide access to the River Foyle from the Waterside will help people of all abilities gain access the river for leisure and sport.

Plans for the 66 metre long pontoon at Prehen Boat House were unanimously approved back in October 2020.

The plans also include upgrading the car park, and the installation of a platform lift for people with limited mobility, as well as an access bridge / ramp alongside the current steps down to the gang way, and also a shower/ wash down area.

The boat house site off Victoria Road has been in use as a municipal boat club since 1979.

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter