Editorial - Planning for the future

For many years now local politicians, tourism chiefs and entrepreneurs have raised concerns about the long and often arduous process of securing planning permission for major developments.

While there is no doubt that it can be a very complex issue with many important factors to be taken into consideration, it is often viewed as a setback by those seeking to bring something new to the city.

This is particularly true when it comes to accommodation. Over the years, plans for numerous new hotels have been reported, some with detailed plans and images.

At times, many could have been forgiven for wondering if Derry needed so many hotels but, thankfully, given recent successes, most notably the securing of the City of Culture title and the impressive programme of events it has given rise to, there is evidence of a clear demand for more bed spaces in the area.

This is where the system has fallen behind the demand and created a new problem for event planners in the city. It may be a good problem to have but it a problem nonetheless.

At this stage, given the myriad of factors which have to be taken into consideration before planning permission can be given, it is unlikely that any more hotels will be given approval and built to cater for the demands of this year but speedy consideration should be given to innovative schemes which could help alleviate this problem as soon as possible in order to allow the city to reap the benefits of the much talked about legacy of the City of Culture celebrations.