Derry's historic Boom Hall site: Plans for regeneration partnership to proceed
Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed it is still planning to form a partnership to develop the historic Boom Hall lands in the city.
Several detailed regeneration proposals for the site were put forward in the years before the pandemic, involving restoration projects and new infrastructure.
Local people were invited to give their views on the future of Boom Hall during public consultation four years ago in early 2019 at the Guildhall.
The Council later confirmed in July 2021 that it was preparing to initiate a competitive process for regeneration submissions “within weeks”.
It is understood however that this has yet to happen, although the Council when asked by the Journal, has now said that the partnership selection process has designed.
That same month back in July 2021 the development director of the Eden Project Dan James said he remained “optimistic” an ambitious £67m plan to transform this part of Derry’s riverfront would be realised. He added that along with their partners Foyle River Gardens, they were intending to bid for the forthcoming Derry & Strabane Council partnership tender to develop the Boom Hall estate.
The Boomhall Trust meanwhile was established with a view to restoring the mansion house, stables, walled garden and landscapes at Boomhall.
The Boom Hall area is one of Derrys most important sites and played a vital role in shaping the history of the city and arguably the island of Ireland.
Excavations were carried out in March, 2013, revealing evidence of the battles during the Siege of Derry when the famous wooden boom was laid across the River Foyle.
The wooden boom was fixed from the western end from a fort erected at this ancient townland of Ballynashallog and linked to another fort across the River Foyle at Gransha.
The current Boom Hall itself was erected later, in the 1770s but was all but destroyed in a fire after the last occupants left over 40 years ago. The nearby stables pre-date the stately home. The area is also home to some of Derry’s oldest oak trees, the emblem of the city (Doire meaning oak grove in Irish).
The site’s history stretches back further to the time of the ancient monastery in the city centre. Before the Plantation of Ulster, the land was owned by the Abbey of Derry and monastic authorities utilised it to cover the costs of their community in the area.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Derry City & Strabane District Council said: “A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council advised that it has designed a partnership selection process to invite regeneration submissions for the Boom Hall lands from interested parties.
“This process would identify a suitable partner(s) who have proposals for regeneration of the lands which align with the Council’s strategic objectives for the site and which also align with the Boom Hall Conservation Management Plan and Historic Landscape Appraisal.
“The timeline for when the process will formally issue will be subject to the consideration and approval of Council’s Elected Members in due course.”