09/11/2018

Roads To Close For Derry Girls Filming Despite Business Objections

A main road in L'Derry is set to close for filming of Channel 4's Derry Girls, despite objections from various business owners.

November 14 will see a temporary road closure on Abercorn Road, as well as Shipquay Street and Shipquay Place on November 15 and 16.

Series one of the comedy aired earlier this year and was widely praised with a string of awards. Filming is ongoing for the second series and the cast and crew have been busy working on location in Belfast and Ballymena.

Traders objected to the initial application for the road closures. Eight business owners from the Shipquay Street/ Shipquay Place area signed a letter outlining their concerns to the council.

They said: "We are already in extremely difficult trading conditions and this would be an unreasonable burden at any time and more so at the start of the Christmas trading."

The traders, who are not named, also said the council is acting Ultra Vires (a Latin expression meaning 'beyond one's legal power') in allowing the disruption.
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A spokesperson for Derry and Strabane District Council confirmed the approval of the closures after they were discussed at a special meeting of the council's Health and Communities Committee on Thursday 08 November.

DUP Alderman Hillary McClintock said "the benefits outweighed the difficulties" in the decision to allow the road closures, and insisted that measures would be taken to ensure public transport was operational during filming.

"We feel that on balance, we do very much take the concerns of the traders into account, they are going to benefit from the increased footfall in the area," Mrs McClintock added.

SDLP councillor Brian Tierney also backed the decision, which he feels "sends out a message to production companies across the world that Derry and Strabane is open for this kind of business".

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: "The production team have worked closely with the local council to secure all necessary approvals required for filming the series and have endeavoured to ensure that the production causes as little inconvenience as possible for local residents and traders."

Following new legislation that passed last year, Derry and Strabane District Council have the power to restrict access to public roads for the purposes of holding "special events".



(JG/CM)


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