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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

13 September 2019

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee today approved funding to appoint an Integrated Consultant Team (ICT) to develop designs for the proposed new community centre in Glenview.

The matter was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Committee that was held in the Guildhall this week where an update on the planned development at Glenview was provided. Elected members were also provided with information relating to the previous scheme to deliver on the centre that was unable to proceed after planning permission was approved.

Members were informed that Council, as the new lead partner in the delivery of the project required the appointment of an ICT to assist it and its partners the Glen Development Initiative (GDI) with the design and delivery of any new facility.

In a detailed report it was outlined that the ICT, once appointed, will ensure that the design of the new facility meets the accommodation needs of the community sector, as identified through the revised Business Case for this project. The ICT will also ensure the design meets with the normal statutory approvals required for such building developments (e.g. planning approval, Building Regulations, etc).

Members heard that following consultation there is strong support for the proposed centre being located in the adjoining Glen Park, but that this site does present a number of challenges including its close proximity to Creggan reservoir and the associated flood risks, as well as issues around vehicular access to the building to comply with DfI – Roads requirements.

Members heard how officers have undertaken recent consultations with the Department and other key statutory consultees through a PAD process to better understand the nature and complexity of the planning challenges associated with developing a new centre on this site. However following these consultations all parties involved are not confident these challenges can be overcome.

In order to progress this project to the next stage, members were asked to support proposals to procure for an ICT  to undertake an investigation of suitable sites for the new centre.

When appointed, the ICT would design the centre up to RIBA Work Stage 2 and provide the necessary capital costs estimates to assist with developing a business case for the project.

The first task for the ICT will be to undertake an investigation of possible sites for the new centre and then undertake a criteria based options appraisal of the possible sites to identify the optimum location for the new centre with details of the proposed site being brought back to members for consideration at a future date.

Members were also informed that the anticipated cost for the appointment of the ICT is £70,000 and that funding of £150,000 has been allocated by the Department of Education to fund a youth wing for any new proposed centre, while £900,000 has been approved within Council’s capital programme towards the overall costs of this project, which are estimated at £1.8million.

Welcoming the report and the decision to proceed with the appointment of the ICT to advance to the next stages of the project, the Chair of Health and Community Committee, Cllr Paul Fleming said he welcomed progress on the plan.

He said that despite the obstacles experienced to date with the project and the many challenges it still faced to move forward to the next stages, he said he welcomed the decision to proceed with procuring for ICT.

He said; “The advancement of a range of Community centre developments at locations across the Council area remain a key objective of the Council’s Strategic Growth Plan. This is welcome news for those in the Glen area of Derry and a step in the right direction towards agreeing a location and design for any new centre at Glenview.”

Members were informed that the first phase will be to finalise the site options and commence initial design and once that is complete, a further report will be presented to Council.

MIL OSI United Kingdom