£100m investment set to bring 800 new homes to Londonderry

Seamus Gillan of South Bank Sq, left, with Brian Kelly of Turley and John Quinn of ASI Architects outside the Guildhall submitting �100m plans for new homes at Ballyoan
Seamus Gillan of South Bank Sq, left, with Brian Kelly of Turley and John Quinn of ASI Architects outside the Guildhall submitting �100m plans for new homes at Ballyoan

Plans for a £100 million private residential development in the North West could bring as many as 800 new homes to Londonderry and close to 100 construction jobs for the next decade.

Plans submitted to Derry City and Strabane District Council by South Bank Square propose an 800 home neighbourhood development at Ballyoan adjacent to Crescent Link and Clooney Road .

As one of the largest new housing schemes brought forward by a single private developer since the property crash, the local firm behind the scheme believes the neighbourhood homes will deliver more than just a welcome boost to the North West’s economy.

“This is an exciting urban development that will deliver quality family homes in a neighbourhood environment that will include community, retail and business facilities, as well as new local play areas and public space,” said South Bank Square managing director Seamus Gillan.

“We are very pleased to have received extremely constructive and positive feedback in consultation with local residents, and potential home-owners.”

The firm has also claimed that an approved application could help deliver upgrades to Caw Roundabout and other road infrastructure in collaboration with Transport NI.

“From our consultation with the community we know the importance of addressing traffic issues at this junction, in a manner that will support new homes for the area,” Mr Gillan added.

“Traffic and the roundabout is something we have raised with council and Transport NI during pre-application discussion and have prepared an application that responds to these issues.

“We are not responsible for the existing defects in the road system. However, through collaboration with Transport NI we hope our application for new homes could contribute to a solution.”

Speaking following the submission of the application Brian Kelly, director of Turley, lead planner for South Bank Square, urged the city’s planners and councillors to come to a quick decision, and highlighted an increasing demand for quality homes:

“In recent years there has been a falling back in developers able to deliver the scale of investment, and few that will deliver the quality neighbourhood development we are proposing.

“The proposals at Ballyoan will deliver standout urban design that addresses how people want to live today and in the future.”

Recent statistics, he said, suggested that completions in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area have been slower than elsewhere in the province.

“Our proposed neighbourhood could assist in meeting the demand for family homes, single households and older people. It is therefore important that planners process this application quickly to ensure this demand is met.”

According to NISRA’s 2012 Household Projection figures the population of Derry & Strabane will increase by 8% in the period 2012-2037 from 56,157 to over 60,000. The proposed 800 homes would represent 18% of the housing needed to accommodate the projected growth.

Designs for the Crescent Link/Clooney Road site have been developed alongside local practice ASI Architects. The outline application, will deliver a mix of unit types to accommodate different housing needs; with single houses sitting alongside neighbourhood avenues, luxury apartments and affordable accommodation.