Galliagh Concerned Residents Group

Timeline of Events
Date Detail
02/12/08 Galliagh Development Trust send letter to Derry City Council re

acquisition of land

18/12/08 Letter from John Kelpie Derry City Council, proposing DCC to

enter negotiations with NIHE for land as opposed to GDT

29/01/09 Derry City Council policy & resources committee – endorse letter

for DCC to enter into negotiations with NIHE to acquire lands

05/03/09 Derry city Council Environmental Services Committee authorise

Groundwork NI to submit planning application on behalf of

Derry City Council
*SDLP councillor enquires at meeting about who will consult the


24/03/09 Ratified by full council

31/03/09 Letter from John Kelpie Derry City Council, to Paul Bell NIHE

stating DCC are working with GDT on funding application

10/04/09 Letter from Paul Bell NIHE to DCC, is prepared to request transfer

of land from NIHE board subject to planning approval

19/05/09 Derry City Council Submit planning application

27/05/09 Neighbourhood notification from planning service to local residents

24/06/09 Letter from John Kelpie Derry City Council, to NIHE -Paul Bell

attached minutes of Policy & Resources Committee

09/07/09 Derry City Council Environmental Services Committee meeting

* Planning application lodged by Derry City Council – objections


* Landscape architect DCC informs Derry City Council that GDT

are to employ Holywell consultancy to carry out consultation,

at meeting Landscape architect at request of chairman undertakes

to ensure a comprehensive consultation exercise was carried out

and to report back to the committee

26/07/09 Some homes get GDT newsletter which includes Holywell survey –

states on survey that it must be returned by 29th July 2009,

also lists dates for consultations

27/07/09 Announcements in papers telling of consultations

27/07/09 First of Holywell consultations meeting ends abruptly, tempers

flared residents unhappy with what is being presented No one

from Derry City Council in attendance to explain DCC involvement

28/07/09 Second consultation again no representative from Derry City

Council is in attendance to explain DCC involvement

Residents are subjected to a threat at the meeting,

That the person who made the threat he 'will bring a crowd of

angry men up and point out every single person who is objecting

this threat is covered in the media and raised with DCC

29/07/09 3rd Consultation Over 100 residents protest at meeting, after

raising issue of threat and raising concerns about project manager

residents walk out no representative from Derry City Council is in

attendance to explain councils involvement

06/08/2009 Derry City Council Submit a funding application to the DSD for the


17/08/09 Residents send email to Derry City Council via DCC website

asking who best to talk to from DCC in relation to DCC involvement

with development

27/08/09 Residents write to all Derry City Councillors outlining concerns

28/08/09 Residents write to Valerie Watts DCC town clerk & Chief Executive

outlining concerns and asking to meet with her no reply or
acknowledgement is received

01/09/09 DCC landscape Architect sends web link to tender documents but

does not answer original question re council involvement

01/09/09 Residents address DCC planning meeting:

*Residents ask for deferral of planning permission until concerns

are addressed and proper transparent consultation takes place

*Residents suggest council or independent carry out consultation

*Councillors raise concerns over threats and intimidation

*Issue of loss of funding if project does not proceed raised,

councillor states residents should not be subject to emotional


*Councillor states that Derry City Council as applicant had a

responsibility to consult residents

*SDLP member expressed the view that an appropriate protocol

needed to be put in place to ensure that proper consultation was

carried out in future in respect of any planning application

submitted by Council.

*Member of the SDLP grouping repeated that it was important

residents were consulted and stressed the need to ensure that

adequate consultation was carried out prior to work proceeding

*Member of the SDLP grouping pointed out that Council had

approved the proposals subject to a public consultation being carried


At The meeting Council Resolved that planning application no.

A/2009/0405/F be deferred and in the meantime a meeting be

arranged by Council of all the interested parties to discuss

the proposals.

02/09/09 Residents resend original request to Derry City Council asking who

best in DCC to contact re DCC involvement with project – no reply

is given

Mid Sept Residents begin to question why no meeting of interested parties

as laid down in the council resolution has been arranged, as the

residents who will have these facilities on their doorstep are

surely the most interested party involved after making enquiries

residents find out that meetings have been taking place

behind closed doors by a working group set up by the Outer

North Neighbourhood partnership

No residents were informed of the setting up of the working group,

or invited onto the working group.

The first meeting of this working group was attended by

Mary Bradley – MLA/Derry City Councillor and Member of the

ONNP Board

Cathal Crumley GDT manager & Member of the ONNP Board

Colm Eastwood SDLP Councillor & member of the GDT board

Betty Feeny Member of the ONNP Board

Tony Hassan SF Councillor and member of the GDT Board

Darren Kirby Strategy manager of the ONNP

Joe Martin – Chair Galliagh Development Trust

Cathal McCauley – Chair ONNP

Raymond McCartney SF MLA

Colin Kennedy DCC city engineers dept

Paul McNaught DSD – funder of project

**10 out of the 11 attendees are members of groups who are behind

the proposals

No minutes or records were kept of these meetings, as such

residents are unable to see who attended meetings and made

decisions affecting their homes by doing so

ONNP breached their general terms and conditions

11/09/09 Residents receive letter from Paul McNaught DSD stating that DCC

are the promoter of the project and any decision to proceed with

ultimately rest with DCC

Mr McNaught also states that the DSD had received a funding

application from Derry City Council

20/10/09 Residents write to Councillor Sean Carr chair of DCC planning

committee raising concerns that the council resolution was not

fulfilled and about the meetings going on behind closed doors.

Despite two of his party colleagues being active participants and a

council officer involved, Councillor Carr stated he was unaware

that the meetings were taking place. Telephone calls and emails

between residents and Cllr Carr followed. Clr Carr states that if

DCC put the planning permission through to secure funds

for the playpark, the contentious element being the MUGA

can be removed from the plans.

OCT/2009 A survey is carried out on behalf of the ONNP, some residents

refuse to participate, -(8th,9th,12th & 14th October)

Residents have concerns that the Derry City Council logo is on the

survey despite it not being a Derry City Council survey, residents

have concerns about the impartiality of the terms of reference for the


15/10/09 Letter sent to Valerie Watts seeking financial support for an

independent consultation/legal advisor

22/10/09 Report from ONNP submitted to DCC city solicitor

27/10/09 Residents accompanied by legal agent Mr John Thompson of

Academy Consulting meet with representatives of the ONNP

working group, residents are informed at the meeting by the Strategy

Manager ONNP & the ONNP chairperson that they were excluded

from the working group because of their objections to elements

of the proposals. Residents refuse to accept this working group as

a substitution for the meeting of interested parties that was to be

arranged by Derry City Council.

29/10/09 Residents write to Valerie Watts DCC town clerk & Chief Executive

raising their concerns, 97 complaint letters and 6 official complaint

forms from residents are also submitted

29/10/09 John Thompson – a legal agent employed by residents submits a

letter on their behalf to Valerie Watts Chief Executive DCC

highlighting residents concerns about the working group and

its findings.

03/11/09 Derry City Council Planning Services meeting

*City Solicitor Mr D McMahon states that this is not a

council project

*Questions were raised as to why DC were the applicant,

Mr McMahon stated that this was technical assistance and DCC

was acting as an agent of the ONNP and were not

the applicant

*The Landscape architect who was DCC council lead officer

involved did not attend this meeting, this was commented on by

several councillors

*A member of the Unionist grouping on DCC pointed out that any

promoter was not required to proceed with all the elements in their

planning application.

05/11/09 Derry City Council Environmental Services Committee meeting

*Residents legal agent Mr John Thompson permitted to address

the City Council:

*Mr Thompson requested that DCC as applicant and developer not

proceed with the MUGA development

*City engineer stated that any delay could result in funding being


*The city solicitor informed the meeting that the project was not a

project of Derry City Council

*The city solicitor explained that the project promoters (ONNP)

formed a working group

*The city solicitor explained the DCC was not responsible for the

setting up of the working group

*Again the City solicitor stated that DCC was not the promoter,

& in terms of planning application was merely providing technical


*It was asked who paid for the planning application, DCC paid for

and submitted the planning application in their name

*The chairperson stated that this particular matter presented

important issues in terms of democracy and the role of council

when acting as an agent for neighbourhood partnerships

*As a result the city Council recommended the approval of the

planning application

5-6/11/09 Question sent to DCC Landscape Architect re working group and

consultation, written reply requested, not given

06/11/09 Response received from Valerie Watts DCC to John Thompson

letter of 29/10/09, copy of letter sent to residents who submitted

complaint letters and forms on 29/10/09

*Ms Watts states that this development is not a project of

Derry City Council

*Ms Watts states that Derry city council are not the promoters

of the project

*Ms Watts states that Derry city council did not form the

working group

*Ms Watts states that as the ONNP had set up their

working group there was little to be gained by council 'convening a

meeting of all interested parties'

*Ms Watts is dismissive of the council resolution of 1st Sept

by stating 'whatever that might have meant precisely'.

09/11/09 Response from Valerie Watts to request for financial assistance,

letter contains veiled threat re legal action by council officer.

08/11/09 Letters & emails sent to every member of ONNP working group

asking why they had excluded residents from working group

10/11/09 Derry City Council Planning Services meeting

*The planning committee recommended that the planning service

approval for the development be passed.

17/11/09 Residents meet with the Galliagh Development trust at their request,

the GDT project manager calls the entire planning process

one of the most shambolic things he has ever witnessed. The

meeting ends when the GDT state that they can and will continue

to bring their plans forward no residents concerns are addressed

Nov -to date *Residents have been invoking the Freedom of information act to

try and establish the background to this development, this has been a

long and ongoing process.

*Residents met with Councillor Sean Carr DCC Planning committee

chair and raised concerns about how Derry City Council has

handled this process.

They have raised concerns with the discrepancies between what

was presented at council meetings, and what the documentation


Issues such as despite Derry City Council submitting and paying

for the planning application insisting they were not the applicant.

Despite DCC using £85000 of rate payers money and applying for

£250 000 from the DSD they were not the promoter.

Residents raised their concerns about the complete lack

of accountability and transparency surrounding this

entire development. Cllr Carr said he would try and arrange a

meeting with DCC officers, however he has told residents by

telephone that the lead council officer in this process

had refused to meet with residents as in his opinion everything

residents needed was in the freedom of information

requests submitted by residents.

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