Plans For New Apartment Building In L'Derry Approved

Plans for a new apartment building occupying the former Tillie and Henderson site in L'Derry have been approved.

The new development, which will be located at the cityside end of the Craigavon Bridge overlooking the River Foyle, will comprise of 131 modern apartments, and the development will also feature a number of other facilities including a café, library, hair salon and gym.

In a report recommending the approval of Full Planning permission presented at the virtual meeting, members of the Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Committee heard that 44 parking spaces would also be available on site, as well as communal amenity space for residents.

The former listed factory building was demolished in 2003 after it was destroyed by a fire. Planning approval had previously been granted in 2014 for a mixed-use development incorporating 139 bed hotel.

There was also a welcome for proposals to recreate the iconic staircase that once linked the Tillie and Henderson building to the Craigavon Bridge. Listed Building Consent was given for the connection of metal stairs to existing gates on the listed Craigavon Bridge. The stairs, while not functional, will serve as a platform to pay homage to the Factory Girls and will feature sculptures of the former workers who used the staircase to access the pedestrian gate situated on the Craigavon Bridge, which will also be refurbished. Members said it was a fitting tribute to the City's factory industry, and celebrated the significant history and heritage of the site.

Plans submitted by the developer indicate that the apartments will be split into three blocks offering contemporary living space with high specification finishings throughout. The one and two bedroom apartments will be located over eight floors on to Foyle Road and five storeys onto Abercorn Road, and the exterior finish will be clay brick replicating the heritage of the shirt factory site.

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Philip McKinney, said: "The Tillie and Henderson site has been lying vacant for too long, and I welcome the fact that this prime location at the gateway to the city will no longer sit empty.

"The site is ideally located for city centre living, with access to shops and restaurants, and this will bring more business into our city centre. The Transport Hub is also located nearby making it accessible for anyone travelling for work.

"The historic Tillie and Henderson building commanded beautiful views over the Foyle, and was a proud landmark for anyone visiting the city. I'm pleased that the brick façade of the new apartment building, and the reinstatement of the iconic staircase feature, will reflect the former shirt factory design. I look forward to seeing the site occupied once again, and to seeing these exciting plans as they develop."

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