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Local Development Plan set to ‘transform Derry and Strabane’

05 April 2017

Around 100 stakeholders gathered at the Everglades Hotel today to discuss the Local Development Plan and how it will shape the future of the City and District, promoting growth and sustainability into the long-term future.

Representatives of statutory and community agencies were joined by key planning stakeholders including businesses, commercial developers, housing developers, representatives of Strabane town, Derry City and rural areas, environmental bodies, local councillors and officials, to discuss some of the key priorities which will shape the framework for the transformation of the District as outlined in the LDP.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the event had been a positive start to the discussions around the plan, which will be an integral part of the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan (Community Plan) for the area.

“I was delighted to see so many people here today to find out more about the LDP, as Council’s Planning team continue to work on the Preferred Options Paper (POP) for the plan. I think stakeholders had an opportunity to get an insight into how this will take shape and how they can contribute to its content.  There was some extremely positive debate today around some very important issues and I would really encourage everyone to take the opportunity to engage in the public consultation around the POP once it is published in the next few months.”

Planning powers transferred to local councils from the DOE in 2015, and Councils have been tasked with developing a strategic Local Development Plan based on the unique needs of each district, and uniquely the LDP has a statutory link to the Community Planning responsibilities also assigned to councils.

Stakeholders took part in a number of round table discussions around a number of key planning themes, including tourism, rural development, infrastructure, built heritage and the environment. Experts from the property development trade, renewable energy industry, architects and planners were among those who gave their recommendations on how the plan should develop to drive the growth of the local economy.

Addressing the meeting, Chief Executive of Derry City Council John Kelpie, said the Local Development Plan would assist in delivery of the vision for the future of the City and District. “The LDP is a vital component in the delivery of the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan which is now in the final stages of production – and it will be a sound, robust and ambitious strategy for development geared towards the regeneration and transformation of our region. We hope to draw on the expertise of those with a vested interest in planning to engineer change by enhancing our infrastructure, developing our key sites, improving our housing, and delivering the services which will enhance the wellbeing of all our citizens.”

It’s expected that the POP will launch in May-June, with a 12 week consultation period during which time the public will have the opportunity to give feedback on a range of options which will be suggested as priorities for the future LDP.

Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips, told stakeholders this was the time to engage with the process.
“The plan is of major significance in that it will form a blueprint for all future development projects across the District, so it’s essential that all those who have an interest in the development of the region take this opportunity to contribute at this early stage. The initial stakeholder event provided some great feedback on how strategic growth is a priority for all of us, and that any strategy going forwards should be focused but flexible and adaptable. It was a great start to the conversation and we will continue to engage with all those who are interested in instigating change across the District through the LDP.”

The Stakeholder Group will continue to meet at key stages throughout the preparation of the Local Development Plan.

To find out more about the process you can receive updates by signing up at https://eepurl.com/cJCJIP or go to www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/LDP/Local-Development-Plan

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