‘North West One’ may go ahead despite knock-back and administration

'North West One' development may yet proceed.
'North West One' development may yet proceed.

A major mixed-use project at the Crescent Link - knocked back by Alex Attwood in late 2012 and further rocked by the placement of the original developers in administration last year - may yet go ahead under the snappy title of ‘North West One.’

Those behind the project - the administrators of the former developer say an “advisor” has been appointed to continue the scheme - aim to bring an anchor superstore, health facilities, office space, and smaller retail to the zoned land around the Premier Inn.

They are inviting members of the public to come and view the revised plans at Brewers Fayre in the new hotel on January 23, 4-9pm.

And this Friday (January 17), DUP MLA William Hay is set to facilitate a meeting between the developer and local community groups and interests in the Crescent Link area.

Mr Hay told the Sentinel: “I’ve been encouraging the developers to meet as widely as possible in advance of any development.

“In fact, I’ve met with them on five or six occasions and will be doing so again with community groups on Friday.

“I think any issues in relation to roads, traffic or scale can be resolved and I’ll be encouraging them to get an application in with planning.”

In December 2012 former Planning Minister Alex Attwood said he was rejecting GSB Guernsey Trading Ltd. and GML (NI) Ltd’s plan to bring Sainsbury’s to the Crescent Link because, planning officials believed its 8000 square metres floorspace made it “too large in terms of trade diversion.”

But Mr Attwood asked planning officials to re-work the retail and office-based elements of the mixed-use proposals and said if certain adjustments were made the proposals could get the go ahead in future.

The development ran into some difficulties early last year, however, when administrators were appointed to the insolvent GSB Guernsey Trading Ltd.

Notwithstanding these developments it wasn’t the death knell for the scheme as an administrator’s report by KPMG said “an experienced planning advisor” was appointed to manage the application.

The people of the Waterside will soon learn where this management has lead.

For one thing, Mr Hay said he will be insisting Londonderry folk are employed if and when the construction goes ahead.

“It’s going in the right direction and, as I’ve said before, it’s an important development for the whole city, not just the Waterside,” said Mr Hay.

“Local people have to be employed when it comes to the eventual construction and I’ll continue to make that point to the developers,” he added.