Northern Ireland

Londonderry: Plans for city's biggest housing scheme in over 10 years submitted

An aerial view of the area near the Foyle River where the houses could be built Image copyright South Bank Square Ltd
Image caption The scheme will build 800 houses near the Caw roundabout, close to the Waterside end of the Foyle Bridge

A developer has submitted plans to build 800 houses in Londonderry in what would be the city's biggest residential scheme in over a decade.

South Bank Square aims to develop land close to the Caw roundabout with frontages to Crescent Link and Clooney Road.

If approved, the scheme would take about 10 years to complete.

House builders in Northern Ireland are beginning major schemes for the first time since the property crash.

Private house building collapsed when a house-price bubble burst in 2007 and 2008.

Official figures show just over 4,500 private housing units were completed in Northern Ireland in 2014-2015.

'Positive feedback'

That compares to more than 16,500 completions in 2005-2006.

South Bank Square is controlled by Maghera businessman Seamus Gillan.

His main firm, BSG Civil Engineering, mainly carries out engineering work for public sector clients like Northern Ireland Water.

Mr Gillan said the proposed development had got "extremely constructive and positive feedback in consultation with local residents".

He said he knows the importance of addressing traffic issues at the Caw roundabout and the planning application "responds to these issues".

Brian Kelly, the director of Turley and the lead planner for South Bank Square, said recent statistics suggest that housing completions in the Derry City and Strabane Council area have been slower than elsewhere in Northern Ireland.

He added that the scheme would represent 18% of the housing needed to accommodate the projected growth of the city's population over the next 20 years.