Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Councillor slams rejection of £1m green space plan

There was fury in Londonderry after a £1m plan to revamp a potential cross-community green space in the city centre was rejected by a major funding body.

Derry City Council submitted proposals earlier this year for the Shared History, Shared Space, Shared Future project which would link the two communities from The Fountain and Brandywell/Bogside.

However, both an earlier plan and a revived one were refused funding from the cross-border Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

If successful the project would have seen the stretch of green space between the western elevation of the City Walls down to the Bogside landscaped and made more accessible for public use.

But during a meeting of Derry City Council's Development Committee it was revealed the plans have been rejected once again.

Oonagh McGillion, temporary Director of Development with the council, told the meeting that even though the latest application did receive a favourable appraisal from the SEUPB, it had still failed.

Council officers have met with the decision panel to obtain more details about the refusal.

Disappointed Councillor Brenda Stevenson said the project had the potential to regenerate the entire Fahan Street area.

She added: “This is entirely unsatisfactory. We have been told there were individuals on the panel that said the plan did not meet the criteria but that's as much as we have been told so how can we address their concerns if we don't know what they are.

“This is going to a review in January and we will want to have more information by then.”

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