A long-standing proposal to build a new neighbourhood beside Ballyoan Cemetery has been revived after the site was consolidated under one principal owner last year.
An application to develop land between Clooney Road, the Crescent Link and Rossdowney Road was originally submitted back in 2001 but according to consultancy documents disagreements between various landowners have in the past meant little progress could be made.
But that’s all changed now thanks to the land in question being transferred to the South Bank Square Limited, a company owned by the Gillan family, last year.
In a new pre-application discussion document, planning consultants Turley explain : “Delay suffered by this planning application, probably one of the oldest in the Derry Planning Office is not due to inefficiencies of the planning system but because of the long running disagreements between the landowners and more latterly the inertia experienced as a result of successive administrations.
“The Department of Environment (DoE) has been imploring the applicants to reach agreement on the nature of the proposals and present a comprehensive application for its consideration.
“Recent years of interfacing with a combination of Administrative Receivers and landowners, combined with an uncertain future, has meant little progress has been made.”
The Turley group expressed hope that the transfer of the site to one major landowner last year will allow the 750 unit high quality residential development to progress.
“DoE and the project team have looked forward to the land being held by a single interest and with a focus on delivery,” the consultants state.
“Transfer of the site to a company owned by the Gillan Family and thereby consolidating the land ownership creates the best conditions for a relatively prompt conclusion to the planning process.
“There is no objection to the current planning application in principle, either from DoE or interested third parties,” according to the Turley group.
The proposal, if approved, will include the development of local shops, local junction improvements, new access to the Crescent Link and a new bus service.
Turley suggest that given the lack of opposition, in principle, to the proposal, approval could even be achieved by the end of this year.
According to the planning documents the current owners of the plot of land are listed as South Bank Square Limited, Transport NI and Mr Getty.