Disappointment at lack of Wapping Lane progress

A derelict building in Kennedy Place in Londonderry's Fountain Estate.
A derelict building in Kennedy Place in Londonderry's Fountain Estate.

HOUSING Minister Nelson McCausland says it’s disappointing greater regeneration hasn’t been realised around Wapping Lane during Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013.

The Minister made the acknowledgment during a debate at Stormont when SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey asked him about the possibility of modernising homes in the area.

The Minister said he recognised issues around regeneration in Wapping Lane, George’s Street, Aubrey Street, Henry Street and Kennedy Street.

Mr McCausland stated: “There is a wider issue around regenerating some of those inner-city areas such as the Fountain, around Wapping Lane and the little streets off it.

“I welcome the Member’s interest in that. This is the United Kingdom City of Culture year for Londonderry, and it is a disappointment that we are coming to the end of that year and that particular part of the city remains as it is and has not been addressed. I share the Member’s position on that.”

The Sentinel has regularly reported on problems with the physical environment in the estate.

Last month we reported how a derelict house in George’s Street is to be tumbled, whilst in April we reported on the collapse of the former Unionist Party headquarters in Kennedy Place.

More recently the paper has reported on concerns surrounding the old Sinclair factory at the bottom of Wapping Lane.

A fledgling proposal from the local residents to commemorate the ‘exodus’ of thousands of local unionists from the Westbank of the Foyle to the Eastbank from the 1970s onwards is closely tied with the fate of the Sinclair factory. The factory is currently in private ownership. One development proposal for the factory was recently withdrawn.