Oghill school may yet be brought back into use

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Planning officers have been asked to reconsider an application to redevelop the old Oghill schoolhouse in Lettershandoney as a family home after councillors overturned a refusal recommendation.

Officers had recommended refusing the application on the grounds that the proposed redevelopment was too big and would not “sympathetically maintain or enhance the form, character and architectural features, design and setting of the existing building and would have an adverse effect on the character or appearance of the locality.”

However, several members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s planning committee said they were inclined to support the redevelopment of the old wallstead as a means of tackling rural dereliction in the area. The application will now be reconsidered after Sinn Féin, the DUP and SDLP Colr. Gus Hastings voted to reject officers’ recommendations. SDLP Colr. Martin Reilly voted to accept with SDLP Colr. Tina Gardiner abstaining.