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Council launches public consultation on first Community Plan and Local Development Plan

31 May 2017

Local people across Derry and Strabane are being asked to give their views on the first draft of the Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan - or Community Plan - for the District as part of a major consultation process beginning today.

The campaign was launched in the Guildhall by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Hilary McClintock, and Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Chief Executive John Kelpie, as the plan was unveiled to the public for the first time.

The Transitional Community Planning Partnership gathered on Friday to endorse the strategy, which embodies the views of over 5,000 local people who have taken part in a major public engagement campaign which has taken place over the past 18months.

In tandem with the consultation on the Growth Strategy, people are also being asked for their views on a Preferred Options Paper (POP) for the Local Development Plan (LDP), which is the spatial articulation realisation of the Strategic Growth Plan Strategy. The LDP will shape planning policy here locally and all future major developments. The Preferred Options presented are based on the needs and aspirations of those living and working here.

Local people will now have the opportunity to find out more about both the draft Strategic Growth Plan and the LDP at a series of roadshow events planned across the District.

Speaking at the launch, the Mayor urged local people to take the opportunity to get involved in this next stage of public engagement, and contribute to two of the most important blueprints for the future development of Derry and Strabane.

“The Draft Plan and the POP embody the aspirations for a better city and district as laid out by the people who live here,” she explained. “I can confidently say that Council, alongside our community and statutory partners, have made every effort to ensure that both documents are truly reflective of the needs and ambitions of all spectrums of our community.

“The next challenge, once the public have given their endorsement, is to finalise both Plans and then work together to deliver the outcomes identified and achieve a more positive and sustainable future for everyone.”

Community Planning is a new power which passed to local councils under the Review of Public Administration, and the eleven local councils have each been tasked with creating an over-arching strategy which will enhance service delivery and generally improve the well-being of all local citizens. The LDP once complete will form an integral part of the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan setting an exciting framework for delivering planning across the District, providing certainty and clarity and meeting future needs.

Working with a wide range of statutory agencies and the public, Council will adhere to the objectives and outcomes identified in the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan, which will be reviewed every four years. The Plan ushers in a new era of partnership working focused on achieving strategic growth and economic stability for the North West as Council Chief Executive, John Kelpie, explained. “At the very heart of the Strategic Growth Plan is the drive to create an economically stable region where we have the infrastructure in place to attract inward investment and promote job creation, all in a sustainable manner.

“This, coupled with the successful delivery of a number of key strategic projects including the expansion of the Ulster University at Magee, the upgrade of our road and rail infrastructure and the enhancement of our education and skills programme, will significantly affect the prospects and well-being of everyone. I look forward to moving now to the next stage in the Community Planning process and seeing the vision become a reality.”

Commenting on the launch of the Preferred Options Paper, Chair of Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor John Boyle, said: “The role of the POP is to stimulate public debate and feedback as we seek to develop a comprehensive and fit-for-purpose development framework for the sustainable development of the District. I would really encourage people to find out more about the public POP consultation events in their area and take the opportunity to have their say throughout the consultation.”

16 workshop events will take place throughout the seven District Electoral Areas and Strabane Town beginning in June, providing further information and an opportunity to register feedback on both the Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan and the Preferred Options Paper.

A series of Local Community Plans for the seven local District Electoral Areas and Strabane Town are also in the final stages of being drafted following extensive discussion with people in local communities. Once complete they will become the vision for change in each individual community area, and will be delivered alongside the overall Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan.

To find out more about the public consultation roadshow events in your area, see the press advertisements and information at the Council Offices, public buildings and social media. For further details, go to www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Community-Planning/Public-Consultation

To read the full digital copy of the draft Community Plan, go to www.derrystrabane.com/Community-Planning.

To read the Preferred Options Paper for the Local Development Plan and contribute your views, go to www.derrystrabane.com/ldp