New bridge still a future option
A NEW crossing of the River Foyle near Newbuildings, which the Sentinel in 2010 revealed was set on collision course with Mullenan House - where King James is said to have rested his men before the Siege of Derry - may still go ahead in the future, according to Roads Minister Danny Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy said the proposed crossing was still just a ‘concept’ but may be included in future road plans.
In 2010 the Sentinel first reported the bridge proposal as contained in Improved Roads Linking Around Londonderry - Review of the Strategic Roads Network, a Department of Regional Development (DRD) commissioned report published in February of that year.
The report suggested a new crossing of the River Foyle south of Newbuildings and Londonderry to provide an effective alternative route for strategic traffic, particularly during periods when the Foyle Bridge is closed due to severe weather.
The point of crossing earmarked would require major road construction directly where Mullennan House - a privately-owned listed building - is situated.
Now Mr Kennedy has confirmed that the crossing may take place at some time in the future.
He stated: “I can advise the Member that following a review of the strategic road network around Londonderry, a report, published in 2010, concluded there would be a benefit in providing a new road bridge across the Foyle in the vicinity of Newbuildings.
“This was only in the context of a larger project linking the A6 to the A5 and on to other possible National Roads Authority schemes in County Donegal.
“This link is still at the conceptual stage and is not part of the current strategic roads programme, but may be considered, along with other competing priorities, for inclusion in future roads programmes.”
Mullennan House is situated five miles south-west of Londonderry and was listed in 1979. It appears on a Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) register of parks and demesnes of historic interest that includes Boom Hall, Brooke Park, St Columb’s Park and further afield Stormont Castle and Parliament Buildings.
In December 2010 the Sentinel also reported how another listed-building dating from the mid-Victorian era was to be bull-dozed to make way for the new A5.
Castletown House was listed by the Department of the Environment (DoE) twenty years ago due to its status as “one of the more interesting and important houses on the outskirts of Strabane.”
But the then Roads Minister Conor Murphy confirmed the privately-owned house was to be flattened to make room for the multi-million pound Western Transport Corridor (WTC), which was then due for completion in 2015.
An NIEA assessment describes Castletown as a detached five-bay one-and-a-half-storey house, built c.1865 on the site of an earlier house, located to the west side of Urney Road.
“This house, little changed in appearance externally and simply detailed, has an interesting form consisting of a series of projecting bays and dormers and it constitutes one of the more interesting and important houses on the outskirts of Strabane,” the NIEA stated.
The NIEA advised the internal value of the house had been diminshed by the subdivision of four principal rooms at each floor into smaller flats.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Londonderry
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North