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Derry City & Strabane District Council's Planning Committee approves plans for greenway in Culmore c

Photo Derry City & Strabane District Council

12 April 2021

Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Committee has today approved plans to develop a cycling and walking route, linking the city to Muff in County Donegal.

The proposed development will see an 8.5km route constructed, beginning on the quay trail at Penny Burn, connecting to Canning's Lane, Muff via the Culmore, Culmore Point and Coney Road. Proposals include: segregated infrastructure, new and upgraded lighting, landscaping and drainage works. The project's bridge link across the Penny Burn, adjacent to Fort George, is being considered as a separate planning application. Once developed, the greenway will connect to the proposed Muff greenway, which Donegal County Council is on course to commence by summer this year.

The work is a key capital project in Derry City and Strabane District Council's Strategic Growth Plan, which commits to connecting people and opportunities through infrastructure, while promoting neighbourhood enhancement through the development of local environmental improvement facilities.

Funding has been provided by INTERREG VA, administered by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with match-funding from the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department for Transport in Ireland.

Chair of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Planning Committee, Cllr Christopher Jackson, welcomed this week's approval and spoke of Council's commitment to investing in the area.

He said: "Along with the investment promised under the City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund, this new development underpins Council's commitment to developing and enhancing our green infrastructure assets. Expanding upon our established greenway, walking and cycling infrastructure is another indication of our region's commitment to sustainable development."

"The completed project will provide a safer and more user-friendly experience, while playing a key role in encouraging the public to get outside and get active to reap the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, being active has taken on greater significance for many people."

Cllr Jackson concluded: "It also provides an incentive for people to choose active travel which will have a positive impact on our environment by reducing congestion and carbon emissions in the city, through modal shift."

Director of Environment and Regeneration, Ms Karen Phillips, added that the greenway also met a number of objectives of the Council's Green Infrastructure Plan.

"The proposed greenway will be a significant enhancement for cyclists and walkers and once completed, pupils will find it safer and more convenient, to travel sustainably to their school."

Welcoming the planning approval which will see the route link Derry to Muff, the Communications Officer for the North West Greenway Network, Rónán Gallagher, said: "This project has been developed over four years and it is fantastic that planning has been approved. The announcement also follows on from the welcome news that Donegal County Council has issued the works tender for the Muff section of this route and we are confident that construction will commence during the summer months."

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