Parking concerns over ‘Earth’ night club flats plan

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Transport NI has recommended a proposal to knock down ‘Andy Cole’s’ pub on the Strand Road and build a block of flats should only proceed if sufficient car parking space is provided.

The road authority’s Western Division Development Control Section last week responded to a consultation issued by Edenkeel Ltd, which wants to demolish the pub at the Café Roc complex and construct 23 apartments.

A “development travel plan” submitted by consultancy IDA, on behalf of Edenkeel, which is directed by former County Derry footballers turned publicans Henry and Seamus Downey, says there’ll be enough on street parking for the 23 flats in the neighbouring streets.

“The site is within the Flats Policy Area,” the plan states.

“Car parking for this new development shall therefore be restricted to the supplementary parking available on the surrounding streets.”

It says the closure of the pub and nightclub, which has a capacity of 350 punters, will reduce the general traffic to and from the site.

“The residents and those in the surrounding streets currently enjoy on street car parking,” it says.

“On street parking is available in Aberfoyle Crescent South, Dill Park, Aberfoyle Crescent, Meadowbank Avenue, Richmond Crescent, College Terrace, Baronet Street and on the Strand Road itself.”

It further argues: “The high accessibility of the property to public transport, the tradition of walking into the city centre, space for secure bicycle storage to the rear of the development and the low percentage ownership of cars all point to a reduced need for car parking spaces.”

Transport NI, however, is not entirely convinced.

In a submission returned last week it stated: “The proposed rebuild to provide an apartment block is within the Central Area and the Flat Zone as identified in the Derry Area Plan 2011.

“Within the Central Area, car parking is normally required in order to ensure there is not an unacceptable impact on existing on street parking or the amenity enjoyed by existing residents in the area.

“Under current car parking guidelines, the development as submitted requires 31 car park spaces with no spaces being offered.

“If Council Planning is of a mind to positively progress this application, they should be satisfied that any shortfall in parking provision is in compliance with the Area Plan, PPS3, DCAN 8 and published car parking standards.

“The Travel Plan submitted refers to several streets in the surrounding area, however from observations, spare capacity is at an absolute minimal and any available spaces are utilised as passing opportunity sites to facilitate traffic progression through the residential areas.”