New family justice centre for Derry

Thu, 05/03/2020 - 13:42 -- Editor

Approval to demolish the remains of the former Poundstretcher building on Derry’s Bishop Street to allow for a new family justice centre was given today after members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee approved a request to demolish it and approve a planning application to build a new Justice Centre. 

The family justice centre  - “One Safe Place” -, for Foyle Women’s Aid will consist of a reception, offices, family rooms, ancillary facilities and a public drop-in centre cafe at ground floor level with nine  supported housing units in a separate associated block to the rear at 7-9 Bishop Street. 

An application to demolish the former Poundstretcher building including its front façade floors and frame was granted subject to a number of conditions. 

Members of the committee heard that the proposed development comprises of a social enterprise café and shared justice centre that occupies the three floors of the building, which fronts onto Bishop Street and the nine supported living units, which are located on a new build block to the rear of the proposed Justice Centre/café.

The new build bloc will be a three story building that will include a family room space with covered open space for children along with nine apartment. The block will be attached to the Justice Centre through a glazed covered atrium on the ground floor.

Welcoming the planning decision, the Chairperson of the Planning Committee Cllr Christopher Jackson said the new centre will allow a wide range of co-ordinated services to operate under one roof and greatly assist the level of support provided to domestic violence victims and their families.

He said he was delighted that a derelict site at Bishop Street would be regenerated into a new and much needed facility for the local community. 

All planning application forms, drawings, letters etc. relating to this planning application are available to view on www.planningni.gov.uk.

SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin has welcomed the planning approval for the centre. 

The Foyle MLA said:

“I warmly welcome the planning approval for a family justice centre in the heart of Derry, on Bishop Street. Not only will Derry have a ‘safe place’ for victims of domestic violence and families in distress and crisis, but one of the city centre’s derelict buildings will be replaced.“

This is good news for the city.”