Approval for Limavady Road apartments in Derry
Planning application was unanimously approved for a residential development of 10 apartments within a single building to include demolition of the existing house and outbuildings at 6 Limavady Road, Clooney, Derry.
The Council received 52 written representations during the processing of the application. Initially when the application was first submitted to Council planning, the proposed development was for a four storey building containing 20 apartments.
The applicant significantly amended the scheme during the processing of the application to reduce it in height, scale and massing of the proposed building, with the number of apartments reduced from 20 to 10.
Addressing the chamber, Gemma Jobling, agent for the applicant Braidwater Residences said: “These are high quality gated apartments for those wanting to downsize in this much sought after part of the city.
“I would ask the committee to endorse the recommendation to approve this application. We appreciate there have been concerns but most of those related to the original 20 unit proposal submitted in 2020.
“Please be assured members we have actively sought to engage with the local community and while this is not a major application we did carry out voluntary pre-application consultation. We went door to door and the applicant met with many of the neighbouring properties and we wish to reiterate our willingness to work with local residents during construction and management of the development.”
Sinn Féin Cllr Christopher Jackson spoke of his concerns stating: “This is a key arterial route and any applicant that is designing a scheme along the Limavady Road has to be mindful of the overall character of the area and I suppose the well voiced concerns of local residents.
“I understand improvements and changes have been made to the application but by coming forward with a four story application for 20 apartments on a contentious site, it doesn’t fill me with confidence that there’s residential amenity and the concerns of residents are something that the applicant has high on their mind.”
Ms Jobling replied: “As soon as the public feedback was coming through very loud and clear we immediately sought to reduce the scheme.
“In terms of the roads and access that was something we had assessed before the application had gone in and the feedback we were getting was yes this is a busy route, it’s an arterial route but it does have the capacity to take more. We listened, we heard and we certainly moved to make those changes.”
Following an objection which raised concerns the development would be used for ‘transient residents’, SDLP Cllr Sean Mooney, asked for clarity on the market the applicant was trying to capture.
“Essentially we are looking at the downsize market and professionals because of the proximity to the city,” explained Gemma Jobley. “The applicant, Braidwater, has developed a similar, slightly larger scheme in Eglinton for private rental and it has been very successful. It’s won design awards, it has high quality finishes and with long term leases.
“This is intended to be high quality rental accommodation and the reason we include lifts internally is to aim it at the downsize retirement type market but it’s obviously not restricted to that, it is ideal for professionals due to its proximity to the city.”
Planning Committee members voted unanimously in favour of the officer’s recommendation to approve.
Local Democracy Reporter