Reserved matters approval for former Thornhill College site
10 September 2021
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee today unanimously approved a Reserved Matters Planning Application for the redevelopment of the former Thornhill College site to provide a proposed retirement development on Derry’s Culmore Road.
Members of the Planning Committee were informed that under the application it is proposed the Retirement Development at the former Thornhill College Site, 123 Culmore Road, Derry, will see the retention of existing buildings at site frontage to provide a community hub building, community services buildings and a site warden building. The plans also include the demolition and redevelopment of a number of remaining buildings to provide 57 bed care homes and 53 semi- independent living units within the existing built footprint.
Under the plans presented to members of the committee, the applicant set out how the proposal plans to remodel the former school tennis courts to provide residents with an amenity/allotment area while there are plans in place to remodel the former tarmacked hardstanding to provide a formal landscape area. The redevelopment plans also set out how they intend to remodel the site path network and all associated access including parking, drainage and landscape enhancement works.
Representation from the applicant that was presented at the meeting was given consideration by members.
Elected members attending the meeting were advised by Council Planning officials that the proposal has been considered in respect of the requirements of the Derry Area Plan (DAP 2011), SPPS, PPS 2, 3, 6, 7, 15, 21 and consultation responses and recommended approval subject to a number of restrictions. They were also reminded that the application and site is subject to a Section 76 planning agreement previously approved at outline which restricts the proposal to this specialised use.
Chairperson of the Planning Committee Cllr Philip McKinney welcoming the decision said the Thornhill site was one of the city’s most historic sites and it would be good to see it returned to working use after being disused since the school relocated in 2003.
“This is another major step forward for this important redevelopment site that is located in an area of high scenic value. The proposed redevelopment will not only restore the site to its former glory but it will also help address the growing demand for this type of bespoke accommodation for older persons in our community. “
The September Planning Committee meeting was held in the Guildhall and attended by members of the Planning Committee and officials only and broadcast live to the public and media via the Council’s Youtube channel.