GM Design to be appointed to look at spruce-up of Waterside gateway

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A neglected sliver of ground containing a cannon from Derry City & Strabane District Council’s collection at the entrance to the Waterside’s traditional commercial district is to receive a spruce up.

A design team will be appointed to oversee the revamp of the narrow triangular patch of land at the apex of Melrose Terrace and Clooney Terrace after an initiative by the Bond’s Street Community Association and All Saints Church.

Tony Monaghan, DC&SDC regeneration manager, told the June meeting of the Council Environment and Regeneration Committee, that the church and association had written asking for support for a small environmental improvement scheme at the junction.

“This small parcel of land is characterized by ornate railings along the road frontages of Melrose Terrace/Clooney Terrace and has a cannon from Council’s civic collection located there,” reported Mr. Monaghan.

“The site is directly opposite the frontages of the commercial properties along Clooney Terrace. It is also bounded by an area of green space to its rear (southern) boundary which is owned by All Saints Church. There is a small electricity substation located on the site also.

“Whilst the site has a direct gated access onto Clooney Terrace, there is currently no public access. The physical appearance/condition of the site is currently poor in terms of the presence of leaves, moss on the ground and cannon, as well as occasional litter,” he added.

Mr. Monaghan said that the association and the congregation of the neighbouring church had been pushing for the regeneration of the site since 2017.

Committee members voiced their support for the scheme that would give one of the main entry points to the Spencer Road area a much-needed facelift.

Sinn Féin Councillor for the Waterside District Electoral Area (DEA), Christopher Jackson, said: “It’s timely given the ongoing works at Ebrington and it will hopefully open up Clooney Terrace and Spencer road to increased footfall.”

DUP Alderman for the Sperrin DEA, Maurice Devenney, also welcomed the proposed renovation works, remarking that the site was currently in a “very poor condition”.

“It does have one of the city cannons and a lot of people can see that when passing,” he said.

Ald. Devenney said the regeneration of the piece of ground would complement the recently completed ‘Restore’ shopfront enhancement scheme across the street on Clooney Terrace.

The committee was advised that it would cost £4875 to appoint GM Design to prepare a design concept for the public space and that this could be accommodated through existing in-year departmental budgets.

A public consultation period will follow before final designs and costings are agreed, the committee was informed.

The appointment of the design company was approved with unanimous support.