Members of Derry City and Strabane Council Environment and Regeneration Committee approved the Creggan Burn Masterplan.
The scheme will now progress further through costing and detailed design, subject to the successful outcome of a planning process.
Through the masterplan, the council aims to enhance this important green space by developing new path links, including an enhanced "zig-zag" path, better street lighting, a tree-lined avenue, planting and a new community building.
Read more: Planning approved for bridge on greenway linking Derry and Donegal
Colin Kennedy, Natural Environment Regeneration Manager, brought the report to members on the consultation feedback which showed a poor response to the engagement process.
A pre-recorded presentation was placed on the council’s website supported by a media press release and a letter dropped to 270 households that bound the park, inviting their feedback on the masterplan. Display boards were also displayed at the Glen Community Centre for local residents’ convenience.
Only 11 written responses were received out of the 270 targeted households, however, in general, respondents are supportive of the Green Infrastructure proposals.
Mr Kennedy explained: “There are a number of concerns raised about the potential for anti-social behaviour that it might bring into the area, increased traffic and there were also the suggestions that more sporting facilities should be included.
“In terms of the anti-social behaviour that was raised, what we are trying to do in many ways with these green infrastructure interventions is make the space safer to increase lighting and address sight lines but the proposal also illustrates the potential for a future community build in the heart of the park but that is a separate engagement that will be undertaken by our colleagues in Health & Communities.”
People Before Profit councillor Maeve O’Neill suggested the two-week consultation period at the start of August was held at the wrong time of the year and that the means to respond by email might not have suited older members of the community.
Mr Kennedy explained: “What we would propose is when we get the design, to go back to a more traditional approach that we used to use pre-Covid.
"We would host a number of open days in a venue such as the Glen Community Centre where people can drop in and then there would be face-to-face engagement with officers who can explain the plans and allay any concerns that the public might have.
“Obviously that would be supported by social media and we would target the 270 houses that immediately bound the park and draw it to their attention giving them an open invitation to attend a number of sessions with officers. Once we have a more detailed design done then we can really get down into the details with residents.”
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