Derry City & Strabane District Council and elected MLAs “must do more” to ensure that the full Strathfoyle Greenway extension is delivered on in 2019, a local community worker has said.
While welcoming progress made over recent times, Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Project in Strathfoyle said local people have been waiting five years for the project to be realised.
Mr Hughes said: “This project has long been identified by local residents as the number one priority project for the local area in the Strathfoyle & Maydown Village Plan.
“The plan was first unveiled by Derry City & Strabane District Council back in 2012, received full planning permission on December 16, 2013 and was subsequently rejected for funding from the controversial ‘Social Investment Fund’.”
Mr Hughes said Strathfoyle needs the greenway and that it will go some way to helping combat the worst effects of rural isolation and social exclusion
In recent months, Council have purchased a number of public lands required for the project including lands at Oakgrove College, the Western Trust and NIHE,” he said.
“Just last week, Council carried out a small works scheme on the site to ensure that the planning permission for the Greenway is secured.
“Whilst this is welcomed news, the onus is now on Derry City & Strabane District Council and the Departments of Communities and Infrastructure to bring this much needed project into fruition.
“Local people have been waiting on this project to commence since 2012. It’s time to make it happen!”
He added: “I would encourage all local residents to contact their local elected representatives to remind them of the importance of delivering on this project next year. Enagh Youth Forum for our part will be continuing to campaign for this project to happen as we know the important difference it will make through improving connectivity and health and wellbeing locally!”