Council to launch public consultation on Clooney Masterplan
28 May 2021
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council have endorsed plans to begin an eight-week public consultation on the draft masterplan for the future recreational development of the Clooney area.
The decision was ratified at the monthly meeting of Full Council, after members of the Environment and Regeneration Committee endorsed a report earlier in the month detailing the findings of the Phase 2 consultation process carried out to help shape the draft Clooney Masterplan to improve community green infrastructure and connectivity in the area. The plans include enhanced greenway and sports facility provision as well as a new community park.
In 2018 Council endorsed the vision laid out in the Clooney Masterplan which is supported by the Department for Communities (DfC), and since then has initiated formal negotiations with the Education Authority to secure its greenspace lands at the former Ebrington PS site. Council has also set aside funds through the Capital Review Group to purchase these lands and to cover design development costs for a new greenway expansion to build on the success of the Clooney Greenway.
Members were informed by Council's Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips, that Council's Green Infrastructure team have been working closely at the request of DfC with relevant stakeholders to help identify priorities for the area. She told the committee that there had been engagement with 17 key organisations who attended a series of information sessions in October. During a number of virtual follow up meetings the groups then had the opportunity to provide feedback to help shape the masterplan.
Since then, Ms Phillips explained that Officers had prepared an in-house concept plan based on the evidence gathered which was presented to the participating organisations and the wider stakeholder list to co-design and 'test' the emerging final Masterplan. This process was concluded in January/February 2021.
The masterplan has since been presented to 28 participants including cross-departmental senior officers, Elected Members, and stakeholder organisations on April 21st, where the plan was endorsed with minor amendments.
Members were told that the next stage in the process would involve wider resident engagement to ensure local buy-in for the vision. In light of Covid 19 restrictions this will be done through an online process which will allow residents to contribute their views on the masterplan over a period of eight weeks before a report is brought back to Committee for consideration.
Welcoming the next phase in the process, Chair of the Environment and Regeneration Committee, Alderman Maurice Devenney, said: "I am delighted to see work progress on these vital plans for the development of the Clooney area. Once delivered they will complement the significant investment to date in the greenway infrastructure and enhance the provision of green space for everyone living in the Waterside area.
"I want to thank all the organisations involved in shaping the draft plan and I encourage people to review these proposals and take this opportunity to provide their feedback on what is such a significant development for this area."
Welcoming the consultation, Minister Hargey said; "I am keen to hear the local community's views on the regeneration proposals contained within the Clooney Masterplan. My Department's lands are an integral part of the area covered by the Masterplan and the responses received will assist us in the co-design process to ensure that the community benefits fully from any future redevelopment. Therefore, I encourage all local stakeholders to feedback their views and comments to Council during the consultation period."
Members agreed to endorse the Draft Green Infrastructure Masterplan for Clooney, and the establishment of three delivery Steering Groups to oversee the plans. Officers will now begin the process of seeking wider resident views on the emerging plans by way of an eight week engagement process to be initiated www.derrystrabane.com/clooneymasterplan