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Planners approve over 30 new social housing units

09 April 2020
Over thirty new homes have been approved by Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Committee, as planners continue to progress with the processing of applications.
Applications are still currently being accepted despite some limitations on service due to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency.
The new dwellings are located in the Lower Galliagh and Skeoge area, comprising of a range of housing types to meet a variety of social housing needs.
The decisions were warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Michaela Boyle, in what is a challenging time for all Council services.
"I am delighted to see this important work continue at this difficult time. I appreciate that our Planning team are working with a skeleton staff, many from home and with limited resources, so this may result in a delay in processing applications.
"While these are unique circumstances, Council is working hard to continue with the provision of key essential services, and this work will ensure we can continue to make positive progress and be able to resume normal service as soon as we can.
"There is huge demand for new housing at the moment, these issues are still prevalent, and I am want to reassure the public that they will remain a priority and we will continue to address these needs for as long as we can."
The Planning Service will continue to operate with a skeleton staff, and can move forward decisions based on delegated authority while meetings of the Full Planning Committee are suspended due to restrictions around social distancing.
Applications will be prioritised to minimise pressures, with critical developments such as social housing taking precedence in the coming weeks. There will be some limitations on processing procedures - FoI and officer appointments, site inspections, Planning Committee meetings and pre-determination hearings have all been temporarily suspended – but new planning applications are being accepted. Current and new PADS and Pre-inquiries are not being processed at the minute and this remains under review. But planners are working to find ways of dealing with applications remotely and this will be reviewed going forwards taking into account any further impacts on resourcing.
Council's Building Control Service also continues to receive and process applications, again with some restrictions including the suspension of site inspections, and delays, as staff follow the government guidance around responsible working arrangements.
Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Christopher Jackson, praised the work of the Planning Team and welcomed the new housing decisions. "I know that a significant amount of work has gone into getting these applications through the system as Planners face a number of challenges in their day to day work. The team have worked hard to adapt to these new conditions and have implemented a number of new approaches to continue this service, and this will continue for as long as possible under review.
"This housing announcement will be very welcome news for those living in the Upper Galliagh and Skeoge area, adding to the city's offering of quality housing to meet the rising demand for new housing stock. We remain committed to meeting the needs of local people in the delivery of modern, high quality homes."
The most significant development - LA11/2019/0762/RM – will comprise of 28 units, to include nine No. 5P/3B houses, 12 No. 3P/2B houses, two No. 3P/2B bungalows, two No. 3P/2B complex needs apartments and three No. 2P/1B general needs apartments. This residential development will be located at lands South of Skeoge Link and East of 21 Upper Galliagh Road.
The second application - LA11/2019/0337/F – will comprise seven residential units with one block of three two-story dwellings and one block of four two story dwellings with associated parking located at lands north of 16 Lower Galliagh Road and south of Skeoge Link Road.
The third approval is for the erection of a single story complex needs dwelling - LA11/2019/0748/F.
Anyone seeking planning information, application forms, planning fees and planning applications are encouraged to visit the planning portal at www.planningni.gov.uk/
You can find out more information on Council's planning services at www.derrystrabane.com/planning or contact the main office at 028 71 253253.
A full update on all the service impacts of Coronavirus, including the Planning Service, can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/coronavirus