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Decision on controversial housing plans in Derry postponed due to submission of late information

172 objections have been lodged in connection with the proposed development

Planners recommend refusing application for new houses at prominent site in Derry

The proposed site of the new houses at Clooney Road.

A decision on whether to grant planning approval for new houses in Derry was postponed today after late information was submitted about the proposal.

The plans for the site, which is located at 12 Clooney Road, on a plot between Waterfoot Park and the Waterfoot Hotel, involved the proposed construction of six houses.

However, a total of 172 objections to the plans have been lodged with Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The council's Planning Committee was scheduled to make a decision on the housing plans at its monthly meeting today.

At the meeting, the committee members would have heard that the council's planning department had recommended refusing the new housing plans.

However, at the start of the meeting, Maura Fox, the council's head of planning, said that late information about the proposal had been submitted to the council in recent days.

As a result, she said that the discussion on the plans would have to be postponed to allow council planning officers time to consider the new information.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins raised concern about the further delay and asked if there was a 'specific guideline' as to how many times that planning applications could be 'stalled'.

Sinn Fein Councillor Christopher Jackson, chair of the Planning Committee, said he and other committee members shared Cllr Dobbins's 'frustrations.'

In response, Ms Fox said it was something that has come up 'repeatedly' over the last five years.

She said that 'unfortunately' there was no mechanism in the current planning legislation that indicates how many times someone can revise proposals or submit late information.

Ms Fox said she and other heads of planning in Northern Ireland had raised this matter with the relevant agencies as an 'important issue' in the 'smooth operation of the planning system'.

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