The former Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society Ltd (IAWS) site - billed as “the largest of the opportunity sites in Newbuildings” in an action plan for the village five years ago - could be about to be brought back into use as a high quality private housing development, the Sentinel understands.
That’s according to DUP Alderman Graham Warke who represents the Faughan District Electoral Area (DEA) on Derry City and Strabane District Council and says he has been working with the new developer and expects a formal public consultation to be launched within weeks.
Mr Warke and his party colleague, the outgoing DUP MLA Gary Middleton, have both welcomed imminent progress on the IAWS site.
Alderman Graham Warke said: “Myself and Gary Middleton have been working with the new owner and developer of the site to ensure that the site is brought back into use.
“We are pleased that this residential development proposal is now progressing to planning stage and there will be a public consultation in the coming weeks.
“The consultation will give local residents an opportunity to have their say on the plans and have an ongoing input.
“This is a good news story for the Newbuildings village as it will bring a vacant site back into use with high quality private housing.”
The site had been described as “the largest of the opportunity sites in Newbuildings” by an action plan produced on behalf of Assisting Rural Communities (ARCNW) by the Paul Hogarth Company in consultation with the local community back in 2011.
Due to its substantial size a comprehensive masterplan should be produced for it, the plan had stated at the time.
Any move to bring the site back into use will receive a broad welcome from the village community.
The huge derelict site, which is bounded by residential, agricultural and retail on both the Woodside and Victoria Roads has long been an eyesore for local residents.
Equally, it is one of the first thing visitors to the village travelling south from Londonderry see when they arrive in Newbuildings.