Derry shirt factory: Abercorn road apartments leave some residents angry

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Media captionThe Sinclair shirt factory is one of Derry's most recognisable landmarks

Some residents have said they are angry at plans to develop a former shirt factory into an apartment block in Londonderry.

Martin Construction will convert the iconic Sinclair building on the Abercorn Road into 52 apartments,

There will also be 36 new flats behind the building and seven terraced houses at Wapping Lane are to be converted into 14 apartments.

The developer said residents were consulted at several public meetings.

Catherine Pollack , who lives opposite the building on George Street, said the plans won't meet the needs of the community.

Image caption The former shirt factory has been derelict for many years

"I'm not saying that housing is not something that we should be considering, it's the type of housing and the fact that we would like people to stay there long term and create a community with the people of the Abercorn Road and the Fountain.

"That is an area of high need, for jobs, training and businesses to be developed in that area."

'Overrun by traffic'

Donna McCloskey, from the Triax neighbourhood management team, said residents have not been fully consulted.

"The actual development of the factory is not a concern but it's the lack of consultation. For anyone who knows the area, it's overrun by traffic at the minute from the city centre and residents can't get parked as it is.

"There are many properties in the Fountain area that could be used instead so it's not for a demand for housing."

A spokesperson for Martin Construction said the redevelopment was not only extremely important to built heritage but would also bring much needed employment and help address the housing crisis in the city.

"We adhere to a very strict letting procedure which we apply to all of our residential rental properties and this will be the same with the apartments at the Abercorn Factory development. Like most of our other larger apartment buildings, we will also have a '24 hour' on site manager."

The developer said the plans had been amended to address concerns.

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