Council officers have been given the go-ahead to try to progress the land transfer needed to accommodate a major £10m housing and community development in the Glen area.
The move was agreed after assurances were given that those with concerns about the propodsals to build 80 homes and a community centre at the former greenbelt site, would get a chance to have their views heard.
Speaking at the monthly full council meeting at the Guildhall on Thursday, Sinn Fein Councillor Eric McGinley said: “I am very conscious of the very strong support that exists within the area for this particular project so I’d like to support the recommendation and allow the project to move towards the final stage of the process.”
SDLP Councillor, Shauna Cusack, said that there had been shortcomings with regards to the consultation with the community, and asked that any decision be deferred for a month to allow residents to attend a a free planning advice day with Community Places at Holywell Trust, taking place tomorrow (Wednesday), November 4.
Independent Councillor Darren O’Reilly said that the project itself was welcome, but concurred that there were concerns over consultation.
“This is a massive project for the area and we should be taking the whole community forward,” he said.
Colr McGinley said, however, that all the councillors were being asked to do at this stage was to give officers the authority to negotiate the issue of land transfer, adding: “This is just another step in the process. Nothing will be decided until it comes before the Planning Committee.”
Councillors were told that delaying the transfer could complicate the project and assurances were given that the community’s input would be central to the project development and planning, and the earlier proposal by Colr. McGinley was subsequently passed.