Plans for 3,500 new Derry homes approved
A plan to build 3,500 new homes on a site close to the Londonderry-Donegal border has been approved in principal by Derry and Strabane District Council.
The Buncrana Road proposal also includes primary and nursery schools, church, day care centre, retail units and recreational parks.
Outline planning permission was granted by the council's planning committee on Wednesday.
The 118 hectare project was first mooted back in 2003.
David Worthington of Pragma Planning, the project's lead developer, said work on the site could now begin within 18 months, subject to the granting of full planning approval.
"We have had several goes at this but this is the first time it has come forward to this point.
"Agreement still has to be reached on what we would call the reserved matters but we would be very confident that those issues can be resolved through detailed design process."
Sinn Féin councillor Tony Hassan said planning approval had been a long time in the offing.
"I have been involved in council for 20 plus years and we gave a presentation on this project in 2003 - it's now 2017. Finally we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel."
John Boyle of the SDLP said the outline planning approval was "very, very welcome."
"This particular development has been a very, very long time in the making. It is a huge development, probably the largest development seen in this city in many a decade."
The two phase project, which includes a mix of social housing and private dwellings, would initially see 1,650 homes constructed between the Whitehouse Road and Benview estate in Coshquin.
Phase two allows for the building of a further 1,850 homes.