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Green light given for Drumsurn hall plans

The delay in granting planning permission has however led to a loss of funding.

Green light given for Drumsurn hall plans

The hall is a central part of the Drumsurn community.

A planning application for a County Derry community hall whose progress was halted by bats back in February has now been approved.

Drumsurn Community Association (DCA) had applied for planning permission to demolish the current facilities on Beech Road in the village and replace them with a new single story modular unit.

Surveyors had alerted planners to the possibility of bats roosting in the original building's roof space and the development was paused to allow a survey to take place at the end of the hibernation season.

The resulting survey was carried out last month, and found no evidence the development would result in any loss of bat roost, giving the green light for the work to progress.

However, the delay caused by the need for the survey and the impact of Covid-19 has led to the association losing the original funding they had secured for the project.

Michelle Friel, DCA chairperson, said they are currently looking into alternative funding streams for the project.

“We are extremely happy that planning has been granted for our new hall. It has been a long time in the pipe line,” she told the County Derry Post.

“Unfortunately due to having to wait on the results of a bat survey we have lost the funding stream which had been in place.

“This was due to time constraints on funding schemes, but we are working hard to find other avenues of funding for the new hall.

“The residents of our area need and deserve to have a new facility, which will be cross community, and as always, will welcome everyone.”

HOPEFUL: Councillor Brenda Chivers says other funding avenues will be explored.

Limavady councillor for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Brenda Chivers, has paid tribute to the determination of the Community Association.

“I am absolutely delighted that planning has been passed for the new Drumsurn Community Association hall,” she said.

“It has taken a while to get to this point as the application was held up waiting for a bat survey and due to Covid-19.

“The delay has also caused funding to be lost but the group is hopeful and other avenues will be explored and I look forward to working with them on this and to help bring about their future plans.

“I would like to pay tribute to Michelle and Winnie for their hard work in the community and their determination to see the old hall replaced.”

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