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Bogside site to be ‘secured’ ahead of planned redevelopment

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An application has been submitted to erect a fence around Meenan Square in the Bogside to secure the site ahead of planned redevelopment.

Apex Housing Association, who will deliver the development on behalf of The Executive Office (TEO), applied to temporarily erect a 2.4 metre high palaside fence around the site perimeter.

In February of this year the Derry News reported that tenants, including those in Dennis’s Wee Shop, had moved out as there were imminent plans to demolish buildings in the area.

However, it’s understood that a sale could not be agreed between the current private owner and TEO.

For a number of years, Urban Villages (UV), which is overseen by TEO, has been planning to redevelop the vacant Meenan Square site and surrounding area ‘for a range of purposes’ incorporating youth and community facilities, social housing and small commercial units.

The UV Initiative is designed to improve good relations outcomes and develop thriving places where there has been a history of deprivation and community tension.

Of the five UV areas, four are in Belfast and one in Derry which takes in the Bogside, Fountain and Bishop Street.

Planning applications have now been submitted to allow for preparatory work but the project is still at the design stage.

A TEO spokesperson explained: “The Executive Office is committed to the regeneration of the Meenan Square site, which will deliver a shared space with a range of facilities for the benefit of the community.

“A planning application to allow preparatory work to progress was submitted by the department’s delivery partner, Apex Housing Association on October 7, 2020.

 “If approved, the application will allow fencing to be erected to secure the site once it is purchased by Apex.”

He added: “The ongoing development of a business case for the project is being prioritised within the department.

“And subject to approval of that business case, more detailed designs will be worked up and will be consulted on as part of a full planning application.

“The department’s Urban Villages team will continue to engage with the local community to keep them updated on the progress of this important project.”

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