West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Change in Adria site planning designation now accepted -Doherty

Published: 4 July, 2011

Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty has welcomed the 'agreement in principle' by the Planning Service to change the designation of the Adria site in Strabane from industrial use only to enable mixed use development.

The local MP has been lobbying for the change for some considerable time received the news in response to his latest correspondence on the issue from Dr Chris Boomer, the Principle Planning Officer in the Western Area.

He said,

"This change in designation is a major step forward and will hopefully now lead to the derelict factory site being developed in a manner in keeping with the surrounding residential environs.

"In agreeing in principle to the change Dr Boomer accepted our arguments that given the Planning Approval granted and other similar Planning permissions for the 11.5 hectare business Park at Melmount Road the rationale for continuing with the existing industrial use only zoning designation no longer existed.

"I, along with local party councillors, were also pressing for this change on the grounds that it had become a major focal point for anti-social behaviour and vandalism with residents in the adjoining areas of St Mary's Drive, Beechmount Avenue, Ashgrove Park, Olympic Drive, Delaney Crescent and Oakland Park bearing the brunt of this activity.

"We also were arguing that it was highly unlikely that any investor would seek to secure the site for 'industrial use only' as industrial investors now prefer to locate beside other industrial operators and have preference for Greenfield sites with room for expansion and access onto a main arterial route.

"Given that the current owner the Adria site has plans submitted to develop the site for mixed use development including retail and the option of providing a substantial section of a site for a permanent build for the local Gaelscoil I hope that in the short to medium term an outcome can be achieved which will be of satisfaction to all stakeholders and particularly to the local community."