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27/10/2021

Talks to help remove "planning blockages" are welcome says, Sinn Féin councillor

Talks to help remove "planning blockages" are welcome says, Sinn Féin councillor

Councillor Conor Heaney is hoping safety works on Creggan reservoir can get underway soon

Sinn Féin councillor, Conor Heaney, has welcomed progress in discussions that could lead to the removal of planning blockages affecting a number of key infrastructure projects in Derry.

Talks between Creggan Country Park and Derry & Strabane Council with the latter looking to take on the management of Creggan reservoir.

Moves to enable new developments for projects elsewhere in the city looked to have hit a brick wall in lobbying the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to stump up financial support to ensure that safety works at the reservoir could begin.

Cllr Heaney, who represents the Foyleside ward, said: “Over the last few months myself and party colleagues have been lobbying the Department of Infrastructure and council to match fund £250,000 of financial support offered by the Department for Communities for safety works to be carried out at Creggan reservoir.

“This was due to DfI’s Rivers Agency insistence that the works should be carried out to enable planning permission for new developments at Fort George, Magee and the construction of a new community centre in the Glenview area.

“Due to the refusal of the DfI Minister Nicola Mallon to provide match funding, council have had to pursue alternative ways of resolving the planning problems.

“One option is for council to assume the role of ‘responsible reservoir manager’ for the Creggan site which would allow Rivers Agency to remove their planning objections.

“I am pleased that discussions between council and the management of Creggan Country Park are progressing which will hopefully allow council to take on the management of the reservoir.

“I look forward to a paper coming before council committee in the coming weeks to progress the issue further”

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