Hassan calls on Minister to break H2 logjam

Tony Hassan.
Tony Hassan.
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A Derry Sinn Fein councillor has written a letter calling on Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan MLA to help break the deadlock at the huge H2 site on the Buncrana Road.

The H2 site is so big that it could be used to develop hundreds of houses, build new retail units, a new chapel and a new school.

According to Colr. Hassan the reason the development of the site has been held up for so long is because all of the statutory bodies involved are unable to come to an agreement on ‘Article 40’ which in turns means the Planning Service are unable to sign off on the development.

“There appears to be an ongoing logjam with Planning Service, developers and landowners of the H2 site on the Buncrana Road

“The future of this site has been an ongoing problem for over 10 years and not one development has been approved.

“The planning service told councillors in this city in December 2013 that issues around Article 40 should be resolved by February of this year.

It is now August 2014 and there is still no agreement.”

Colr. Hassan has been a spokesperson for Sinn Fein on housing issues for years and has fought passionately for social housing in Derry.

Colr. Hassan said he has had contact from two housing associations who have expressed an interest in developing houses on the H2 site. Colr. Hassan said if the statutory bodies cannot come to and agreement over ‘Article 40’ then some of the land should be handed over to housing associations for them to start alleviating Derry’s ‘housing crisis’.

“This land could be used for a large development of social housing and I know that at least two housing associations are very interested to build social homes on the site.

“This would go a long way to help the over 2,000 families who are presently on the homeless waiting list in Derry.

“The development of this massive site would also bring work to the construction industry in the city and take many construction workers off the dole.”

Colr. Hassan said if no agreement on ‘Article 40’ was forthcoming then Minister for the Environment, Mark H. Durkan, should step in immediately.

“If the landowners and developers can’t agree then the Minister should step in and free the land up for local housing associations.”