Council Service Update for February 2023
02 February 2023
Please note that all the latest information on COVID 19 is available on the NI Direct website and updated regularly in accordance with information provided by the NI Executive –https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
New Waste and Recycling App
Council has a Derry Strabane Recycling App. It allows the public to synchronize the bin collections in their area to their calendar so they never miss bin day again! It is also useful to find out up-to-date info on all the local Recycling Centres, top tips on how to recycle better and how to reduce waste at home. It is free to download now on Apple and Android.
Council Hardship Fund
Derry City and Strabane District Council in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis has agreed to establish a Hardship Fund which will support a Discretionary Emergency Fuel Support Programme and the provision of additional Advice Services.
The Emergency Fuel Support Programme set up by Council in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis is now closed.The Programme, which was set up to provide a one-off emergency fuel payment of £100 to a household in a financial emergency, opened for referrals on 06 December and within hours the programme received in excess of 5,500 submissions.
Since then, the Council has been working diligently to identify all unique referrals and to progress with the eligibility checks and payment process.
All applicants to the programme have been issued with letters advising them of their eligibility status. Our partners the Advice providers are also carrying out eligibility checks and may be in contact with applicants for additional information to advance with this process.
As part of this eligibility process, Council’s fuel payment partner Bryson Care is processing the fuel payments as follows –
· Electricity support will be provided via a £100 top up or a £100 credit to your electricity account.
· Oil support will be provided via a reference number and details of the oil supplier, including a contact number.
Council recognises the significant need as a result of the cost of living crisis and has been focussing on working with its partners to get all the referrals processed as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, due to the scale of the demand and the limited amount of funding the Council has been unable to offer fuel support to all the applicants. If you continue to need support during this time please contact one of local advice service providers within the Council area or you can get further information on support from Advice NI on https://www.adviceni.net/
Council civic offices and public buildings – Council's Civic Offices in Strand Road, Derry and Derry Road, Strabane are open to the public. The public are being encouraged to use Council's online systems where possible and are advised that they can contact Council by phone at 028 71 253253 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Harbour House is open for staff and elected members only.
The Guildhall is open to the public – Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
The Tower Museum is open to the public – its opening hours are from 9am to 5.30pm daily.
The Alley Theatre and Visitor Information Centre in Strabane is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4.30pm.
Council meetings –A full list of meetings can be found at http://meetings.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?XXR=0&M=9&DD=2020&ACT=Go
Mayor's Office – Following the AGM in June, the Council elected a Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Mayor Councillor Sandra Duffy is the current Mayor of the city and she is available for pre-booked meetings and events and is keen to engage with the public. She can be contacted via her office at email@example.com – For more info on the Mayor visit www.derrystrabane.com/mayor/contact.
Derry City and Strabane District Council's recycling centres have reverted to winter opening hours from November 1st. The new opening times for the Recycling centres are as follows -
Eglinton Recycling Centre
No access for trailers at this site
Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm and 5:30pm – 8pm
Saturday 8am – 5pm
Sunday – Closed
15 Killylane Road, Eglinton, BT47 3DW
Tel: 02871812723, LN 08/35
Glendermott Road Recycling Centre
No access for trailers at this site
Monday – Friday 9am – 4:30pm
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 6 – 8pm
Saturday – 8am – 6pm
Sunday – 1- 5pm
37 Glendermott Road, BT47 6BG. LN 09/54
Pennyburn Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm
Saturday 8am – 6pm
Sunday 1pm – 5pm
The main gates close at 7:50 pm Monday to Friday, 5:50 pm on Saturday and 4:50pm on Sunday to allow for attendants to lock up
7 Pennyburn Ind Estate, BT48 0LU.
Tel: 02871376600. LN 16/23
Strahans Road Recycling Centre
Monday – Friday 10am – 4:45pm
Saturday 10am – 4:45pm
Sunday – Closed
Strahans Rd, Strabane BT82 9SG. LN 14/28
Strathfoyle Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday – 8am – 8pm
Saturday – 8am – 6pm
Sunday – 1-5pm
Temple Road, BT47 6TW.
Tel: 02871863303. LN 08/21
Claudy Recycling Centre
Monday to Saturday – 8am – 5pm
Access for vans 8am -9am with no booking required
Sunday – Closed
Learmount Road, BT47 4AQ.
Tel: 02871338054. LN 12/27
Donemana Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday 10am – 4:45pm
Saturday 10am – 4:45pm
Sunday – Closed
226 Berryhill Rd, Donemana, Strabane BT82 0NB.
Newtownstewart Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday – 10am – 4:45pm
Saturday – 10am – 4:45pm
Sunday – Closed
Douglas Rd, Newtownstewart, Omagh BT78 4NE.
Spamount Playing Fields
Monday to Friday – 10am – 4.45pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday
Spamount Playing Fields, Castlederg
Park Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday – 8am – 5pm
Saturday – 8am – 5pm
Sunday – Closed
Learmount Road, Derry, BT47 4AL
Plumbridge Recycling Centre
Monday to Friday – 10am – 4:45pm
Saturday – 10am – 4:45pm
Sunday – Closed
Please note that arrangements for accessing Recycling Centres remain under regular review and while we have lifted some restrictions at some of our sites we are continuing to encourage the public to be cautious and to co-operate fully with our stewards and to plan your journey to our facilities by trying to avoid busy periods.
Van drivers access information Van drivers who use the Recycling Centres within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being advised of the following revised arrangements. A new online booking service is now available for large vans attending Council's main recycling centres at Pennyburn, Strathfoyle and Strahans Road. Visitors must book an appointment online at www.derrystrabane.com/clicktorecycle or by phone at 028 7137 6590. Phone lines remain busy so please avail of this online service if possible. Exceptions apply for wheelchair accessible vehicles. Access to Glendermott Road and Eglinton Recycling Centres is by appointment only during the day and booking is essential. Booking is not required later in the evening at these sites. Cars and small vans will be able to book daytime slots online.
Update re small trailer permissions at Eglinton and Glendermott Rd Recycling Centres:
Cars and small vans with single axle trailers can now access our recycling centres at Eglinton and Glendermott Rd. Please note that daytime bookings are still essential for these sites. Book your slot at https://recycling.derrystrabane.com/recycling-centres/book-a-slot-online/ Alternatively T: 02871376590. For any waste related queries call 02871374107.
If you are travelling to recycling centres please try to do so at quieter times later in the day, allow extra time for your journey, follow the signage and guidelines and co-operate with our staff.
Bulky Waste Service
Council's free bulky waste service can be booked online via the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com/bulkywaste or by phone at 028 71 374107. All bookings for collection must be made in advance and items must be left out on the kerbside before 7:30am on the day of the confirmed collection.
Street Cleansing Services
Street Cleansing services are operating as normal.
Waste Enforcement Services
Please note that waste enforcement services are fully operational.
Flytipping continues to be an issue for Council and our enforcement team are on the ground actively investigating all incidents of fly-tipping. It is an offence to dump indiscriminately and you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine imposed by the court. Protecting our environment and keeping our streets, laneways and greenways clean are still a priority and everyone has their role to play. For more information visit www.derrystrabane.com/flytipping
Cemetery winter opening hours
Council cemeteries close at the earlier time of 4.30pm daily during the winter months until the spring when they return to extended hours.
General leisure information
Leisure centres are now operating at full capacity with all areas opened for public use including:
· Swimming sessions, health suite and fitness classes remain bookable through our Leisure app and centre reception desks to secure places – please note that booking is no longer essential and walk ins are accepted subject to availability
· Gym sessions do not need to be booked in advance
· Sports halls are open for casual court activities and close contact sports
· Birthday parties are bookable - please contact the relevant centre for further information
Please download our leisure app to find all the latest information on all our centres and to book
We would like to remind our users that while restrictions have been relaxed we would encourage everyone to be mindful of good hand hygiene, and to use the sanitization stations provided. Please be mindful of others around you and give people plenty of space while training.
Please note that the Foyle Arena is operating as a leisure facility and is no longer being used as a Mass Vaccination Centre. For information on where to book a vaccination please go to https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated/
New online leisure booking system
A new online system that will make it quicker and more convenient to book swimming sessions has been introduced at Council leisure centres.
The new booking system is now fully active and can be used to book both public sessions and lane swimming. Those who book can be fast tracked in line to avoid queuing at leisure centres. Regular users are advised to download the Council leisure app for convenient access to information and booking.
You can download the app at Google Play or the App Store. For more information go to http://derrystrabaneleisure.com/
Prehen Pontoon works
Contractors continue to be on site at the Prehen Boathouse as they put the final touches to the work to create a new pontoon facility and install an external platform lift. Works to upgrade the existing car park storage is also nearing completion. Access to the boathouse lower level and water access steps are limited and Council is currently liaising with all the user groups to update them on progress at the site and possible dates for reopening.
Business support – The Council Business team are available to offer advice and assistance to local businesses on the level of Government business support
available and are updated regularly on the Business Support social media platforms. The Business team are working closely with Government department, statutory agencies and partners as well as other teams across Council to plan and provide support to businesses. For regular updates you can follow on Facebook @Business Support Derry Strabane and Twitter @dcsdbusiness To make an appointment to speak with one of our Business Advisers contact 028 71 253253 and ask for the Business team.
Car parks - Council car parks are open and fully operational – for more info on car parks visit - www.derrystrabane.com/carparks
Environmental Health Services
Environmental Health staff are continuing to engage proactively with local businesses to provide advice and support to businesses and the public across the Council area. Officers are continuing to carry out programmed Food Safety and Health and Safety inspections of businesses. For more info visit - at https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing Health and Safety at Work Members of the public and employees seeking advice and information regarding COVID-19 and health and safety at work requirements are encouraged to contact the Council's Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team to find out how Council can assist them in ensuring workplaces are safe. For more information visit –www.derrystrabane.com/subsites/Environmental-Health/Health-Safety-and-Consumer-Protection-Team/Health-Safety-at-Work All sectors need to consider the relevant guidance and risk assess their work activities to ensure risks associated with the potential spread of coronavirus are suitably and sufficiently addressed and all statutory health and safety obligations are met. The HSENI have developed an example COVID-19 risk assessment that shows you the kind of approach that a small business needs to take when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 in the workplace – https://hseni.gov.uk/news/example-risk-assessment-covid-19-workplaces
Our Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team would like to remind businesses that a range of Health and Safety guidance is available from : https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-working-safely-different-business-settings https://www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/latest-information-and-advice-hse-gb-workplaces-about-covid-19 For further information and assistance you can email the Health and Safety and Consumer Protection team at firstname.lastname@example.org A variety of useful information, advice and guidance is also available on the Council website at – https://derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Health-Community-Wellbeing/Covid-19. Covid Safe Scheme for Businesses
The Council's s Business and Environmental Health teams introduced a "COVID Reassurance Mark" to support local, economic recovery and revitalisation whilst respecting the public health controls needed to maintain public health and minimise community transmission of Coronavirus. This initiative was geared towards boosting customer confidence to return to our town centres and villages in the knowledge that businesses are taking positive steps to keep their customers and staff safe via a risk assessed process.
Licensing and Pavement Café Licensing Applications for pavement café licences continue to be accepted. Use of outdoor space may assist hospitality businesses, such as bars, cafes and restaurants to reopen safely, while maintaining social distancing. Guidance on making an application for a pavement café licence is available at: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Licensing/Pavement-cafe-licences. Entertainment Licences Since restrictions on indoor entertainment have been relaxed, businesses across our Council area are reminded they will require a current Entertainments Licence to permit them to operate. Please contact our Licensing section for advice & assistance – 028 71 253253. Dog Control Services – Animal Welfare Services Dog licences can be obtained online at http://council. direct/
Please contact 07512280760 If you are reporting a lost or stray dog. Please note that Council no longer accepts unwanted dogs. If you wish to rehome your dog please contact one of our two local animal rehoming charities: Pet FBI (Tel: 07512 280760) or Rainbow Rehoming Centre for Rescue Cats and Dogs (Tel: 028 71 812882). If you have any queries regarding the Council's dog control service please email email@example.com
The Planning Service normal business has resumed and services are operating fully. Some staff are working from home and in the office as a hybrid arrangement and continue to provide a full range of functions to ensure service delivery. Officer site visits and Planning Committee Member site visits continue for all cases. External meetings are considered as required and we also engage fully with customers through virtual meetings, written communication and phone calls. With the launch of the new regional Planning Portal system on 5th December 2022, all planning applications should now be submitted online via the following link: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/new-planning-portal#Submit%20a%20planning%20application. This new paperless system makes the planning process more accessible for all customers to submit applications as well as search, track and comment on all applications received. You will find further information about the new Planning Portal under the following DfI link: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/new-planning-portal.
Planning Committee meetings continue to be held as hybrid meetings for Elected Members with Senior Officers in attendance and will be held in Council Chambers at Derry Road, Strabane and at the Guildhall in Derry, alternating monthly. Arrangements currently continue to facilitate registered speakers to join the meeting remotely via Webex and meetings are livestreamed so members of the public can view proceedings via the Council's YouTube Channel . The next Planning Committee Meeting will be held as a hybrid meeting on Wednesday 1st February 2023. The scheduled list of applications for discussion at forthcoming Planning Committees are published on https://www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Planning one week prior to each Committee Meeting. Further information regarding the operation of ‘The Operation of Planning Committee Meetings’ and 'Addendum to the Operation of the Planning Committee Protocol: Virtual Committee Meetings’ can also be viewed on our website: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Services/Planning. If you wish to request Speaking Rights at any Planning Committee Meeting, please contact our office directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the main office at 📞028 71 253253 and ask to speak to a member of the Planning Service.
The Planning Enforcement Service continues to progress and deal with complaints in line with Council's Enforcement Strategy.
Local Development Plan (LDP) The Local Development Plan Team formally Submitted the Derry City & Strabane District Local Development Plan (LDP 2032) – draft Plan Strategy and supporting documents to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) on 26th May 2022 as part of the Independent Examination (IE) process. All LDP Submission documents can be viewed here. They are also available for inspection during normal office opening hours, by appointment only, at the Council's two main offices in Derry and Strabane.
Following the Submission of the LDP draft Plan Strategy in May, the Department considered it, to check it is procedurally ‘sound’, that there are no obvious gaps in the evidence base and it is not fundamentally flawed in relation to its regional context. The Council received a formal letter from DfI Planning on 20th September 2022, stating that the Submission had successfully passed its initial checks, so it would be writing to the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) to ‘cause an Independent Examination’.
The Council has since made the Submission documents available to the PAC, who have appointed a Programme Officer – who has undertaken their initial assessment of the LDP dPS and other Submission documents. The PAC wrote to the Council on 23rd December 2022 to advise that it had completed its initial document assessment so it was appointing a Senior Commissioner to undertake the Independent Examination (IE) of our LDP dPS. This will be the next step towards adoption of the LDP Plan Strategy. The Council is currently waiting to hear from the PAC with any initial queries and to set an IE date, but at this stage we anticipate that the Independent Examination is likely to take place in late spring / early summer 2023.
New Planning Portal
A new regional Planning Portal was launched and has been operational since Monday 5 December 2022. The new portal was funded by the Department for
Infrastructure and 10 councils and replaces the existing Northern Ireland Planning Portal (NIPP). It will provide a modern streamlined service making it easier for users to engage with the planning process by submitting planning applications online, reviewing, tracking and making comments and reporting breaches of planning control.
The ability to submit planning applications online will transform the system with paperless submissions at the heart of the business model, making the planning process more accessible and efficient for customers as well as supporting sustainable development across Northern Ireland. All future planning applications, searching, tracking or commenting on an application can be made online by creating a new user account when using the system for the first time by using the link: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/planning-portal. Demonstration videos are available at: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/articles/new-planning-portal and will give instruction on how to: · Submit a planning application · Search, track or comment on an application · Make an enforcement complaint · Request a Regional Property Certificate · Respond to consultations
Whilst there have been some initial challenges and problems identified with the new system, a number of these have been resolved and others continue to be addressed to resolve as quickly as possible. If you have any queries or experience any issues with the new Planning Portal, you can contact our Planning Department at: email@example.com or by telephoning 02871 253253.
Building Control Service - The Building Control service will continue to operate with some restrictions. Essential risk assessments and safe systems of work have been developed to enable site inspections to be carried out under controlled conditions. Full plan applications, building notices and regularisation applications are being accepted, registered and assessed. Property certificates are being accepted and processed.
The Building Control service officers are available to provide advice and assistance – contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or from at our website at www.derrystrabane.com/services/Building-Control.
City of Derry Airport - The public are urged to visit the airport website for live flight information and regular. For more information visit –www.cityofderryairport.com Visit Derry – The Centre is open to the public and more info is available at – www.visitderry.com