Go-ahead for transport hub at former Derry railway station
DISPUTED plans for the development of Derry's former Waterside railway station as a "transport hub" have been given the go-ahead.
Derry City and Strabane District Council's planning committee yesterday approved the £27 million plan despite concerns that trains would not be able to enter the former purpose-built station. The proposal to approve the plan was passed by nine votes to two.
The new hub will include "an active travel centre" as well as passenger facilities, a café, retail space and office accommodation. There are also plans to develop a platform beside the station as a terminus for trains.
The Into the West railway lobby group had campaigned for the old station - opened in 1852 - to be re-developed as the terminus.
Almost 3,000 people signed a petition backing the group's stance, which argued that the proposals put forward did not make the best use of the old station.
The petition stated that Translink's plans are "just a continuation of their original intention of not reusing the historic building".
However, Derry mayor Maolíosa McHugh welcomed the decision and said the plans were part of a wider project for the north-west.
"Council has been working very closely with a range of partners including the lead partner, Department for Infrastructure, Translink and Donegal County Council to develop a wider multi modal transport hub for the region.
"(It) includes the redevelopment of the railway station in the Waterside, the development of a greenway from the hub directly to the peace bridge as well as improved integration of cross border public transport services," Mr McHugh said.
Translink's John Glass said that the move "marks the beginning of a significant transformation in the way people travel in the North-West region".
A Derry City and Strabane District Council spokeswoman said the authority received 25 objections to the full planning application.