Planning Committee approves latest works at Ebrington

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee have approved plans for the proposed change of use and refurbishment of buildings at Ebrington Square to extend the provision of new office accommodation at the historic site.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 2:24 pm
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Committee have approved plans for the proposed change of use and refurbishment of buildings at Ebrington Square.

Extensive work has already been completed in the development of the strategically significant site, and the decision is the next step in the plans to transform the existing buildings to offer top class facilities attracting business and investment to the Waterside area.

At the monthly meeting of Council’s Planning Commitee, held virtually yesterday, it was recommended that Members approve plans for the change of use, refurbishment, remodelling and extension of the existing guard house building at No 10 Ebrington Square, with minor elevational works to Building 10A.

The works will provide new office accommodation incorporating meeting rooms and other associated facilities at Number 10. The building is a Grade 2 listed building, located along the southern side of Ebrington Square. The committee was told that the development would bring extra footfall to the Ebrington site and assist in promoting the vitality and sustainability of this important area of shared space.

Members welcomed the proposal and also approved plans for the change of use of the buildings 85 and 85A on the site. The former Officer’s Mess will undergo internal alterations with the addition of a lift shaft and a flat roof extension, transforming the building into a modern office space, adding to the site’s growing portfolio of modern business facilities.

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Christopher Jackson, said he was delighted to see work continue to progress at the site. “This is just the latest step in the complete transformation of the site at Ebrington Square and the journey towards achieving its potential as a hugely important business and cultural hub for the city. The site is unique in bringing together both Derry’s past and future stories.

“During the pandemic, people have really been making use of the space with its beautiful panoramic views of the city and open walkways and recreational areas. As the work continues and more businesses choose to locate to the site, Ebrington will become the vibrant, attractive and buzzing heart of the Waterside community. I look forward to seeing this area continue to develop and improve over the coming months.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin has welcomed SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon’s decision to grant planning approval for Building 40, Ebrington Square.

McLaughlin said: “It is great news to see some further development approved for Ebrington Square. During lockdown, I like many others have taken walks around the square which has been beautifully landscaped, but frustratingly empty of business activity - and not just because of the Covid restrictions.

“Ebrington was gifted to the city 18 years ago and should have become a centre of major economic activity more than a decade ago. The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister - which is now the Executive Office - has been far too slow in developing what should already be a real hub of activity for the hospitality sector, taking advantage of beautiful views across the River Foyle.

“I look forward to having an additional bar and restaurant right in the heart of Ebrington that can fully utilise the large outdoor space. This will be a key asset as we emerge from pandemic restrictions and become more accustomed to outdoor dining. I am excited that at last Ebrington will be a thriving destination that adds to the tourism offering of Derry.”