Planning approved for massive housing estate

An aerial shot of where developers plan to build 750 new homes.
An aerial shot of where developers plan to build 750 new homes.

Outline planning permission has been granted for a huge new estate adjacent to the Crescent Link, that will transform Derry’s Waterside.

Applicants, South Bank Square, were last night given the green light to progress their £100m H30 Ballyoan project, while Apex housing was also given the go ahead for 146 new homes in Galliagh.

Seamus Gillen, of South Bank Square Ltd the developer behind the proposed �100m investment in the Waterside.

Seamus Gillen, of South Bank Square Ltd the developer behind the proposed �100m investment in the Waterside.

The Ballyoan plan consists of around 750 new homes, with small scale local shops, a cafe, play areas and other facilities in what is the largest private housing investment in the north west. The 37.5 hectare site overlooks Caw Roundabout and the developers have committed to installing traffic lights and additional traffic lanes on the roundabout, as well as a new signalised junction at Gransha.

Work on the first phase of new homes - a mix of detached, semi-detached, townhouses and apartments at Ballyoan, adjacent to Crescent Link and Clooney Road - is expected to begin later this year.

The overall plan indicates that the land will be developed in six phases. Phase One will provide an estimated 150 dwellings served by an internal route which will accommodate a bus service. Phase one also includes an equipped play park, and a small scale retail element of 400 m2.

Mayor John Boyle welcomed the news: “I am particularly pleased to see that these plans will also involve the improvement of the road infrastructure in the area around the Caw Roundabout.”

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Warren Robinson, said: “The sheer scale of the development will have a major impact on the area and the entire city in terms of creating much needed quality homes for new buyers.”

“It’s also positive news for the local building trade as developers anticipate the work will create 90 full-time jobs for the 10 years of construction involved.

“I look forward to seeing the more detailed plans bring brought before planners and to the creation of a vibrant, modern new neighbourhood in the Waterside area,” Colr. Robinson added.

Members of the committee praised the efforts of the developers in addressing some of the ongoing concerns around the Caw Roundabout and the Crescent Link.

Detailed designs for Caw Roundabout must be submitted at least 16 weeks before the 301st dwelling is occupied, Derry & Strabane’s Planning Committee was told.

The houses will be constructed in a traditional style “well suited to this semi-rural urban edge site,” with different brick colours, plaster, the use of exposed wood finish, varying window types and the use of dormer and bay projections.

“The underpinning principle of the arts and crafts style is the detailing and the finishes allowing a competent designer a good framework to create visually interesting styles but based on this more traditional approach,” the committee heard.

The Concept Masterplan for H30 is a conceptual framework designed to allow the development over a long period and according to the developer, the new development will create and sustain employment for 90 full time jobs each year during the 10 years it is expected to take to complete the project.

Existing mature trees, hedgerows and other vegetated areas, including water courses, are to be retained where appropriate and integrated into the detailed design of the housing areas, with a green network of foot and cycle paths.

The report states that among the considerations looked at is that there may be evidence of a bronze age funerary that could go back as far as 2500 B.C. and as such standard conditions with regards to archaeological excavations and access to archaeologists are recommended.

The proposal will also provide for public transport facilities within the development, with an initial temporary bus turning circle provided within phase one.

Last night council also recommended approval for a further 146 houses in the Galliagh area.

That application, from Apex, consists of houses and apartments at H1C vacant lands at south of Skeoge Link, north of Lower Galliagh Road and Woodbrook West.