Flats bid approved for old Hamilton & Sons factory

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Elagh Developments has been granted outline planning permission for an apartment block on the old Hamilton & Sons factory site.

The finer details of the application for the derelict site, which is located near several listed buildings, including St. Columb’s Cathedral, the old Sinclair shirt factory and Carlisle Road Presbyterian Church, are to be reserved for determination at a later stage.

At a special meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday approval was granted for the developer to proceed with the preparation of a full application for 44 apartments.

The committee was reminded how a previous unrelated proposal to develop an eight storey office block on the same site had been refused. Councillors said they were keen to see the lot, which has lain derelict since the old Hamilton & Sons factory was tumbled in 2012 after the collapse of an internal wall, brought back into use.

Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue said the brownfield wasteground had been a blight on the riverfront since 2012 and was unfortunately the first thing visitors saw when they arrived on the cityside via the Craigavon Bridge.

SDLP councillor John Boyle said he was happy to approve the outline planning application but indicated that the committee and its successors needed to be vigilant when the reserved details of the development were presented, as no more “ugly carbuncles can be permitted on our riverfront”.