The Northern Ireland Minister Mark H Durkan has given the green light for a significant investment project at the former Camel’s Hump border checkpoint and no-man’s land between Strabane in Northern Ireland and Lifford in the Republic of Ireland.
Situated at the confluence of the River Finn, Mourne and Foyle, the ‘Three Rivers Project’ includes a mix of education, employment, retail and leisure uses and establishes the framework for a Riverine Park which is seeking European funding.
Independent planning consultancy Turley, who led the planning and masterplanning on this 50-acre site on behalf of Riverside Building & Development, a purpose built vehicle headed by local investors, welcomes the decision.
Brian Kelly, Director at Turley said:
“Once a highly contested space, the excitement generating around this project is palpable and is evidenced by representations to the design team at local meetings and to the planning application itself. Key to this support is the alignment of the project objectives with the regional priorities in seeking to establish shared (uncontested) space and generate employment and act as a catalyst for further investment.”
An extract from a representation to the planning application reads:
“We are convinced that the project can further promote community cooperation and help to heal some of the past wounds felt by Unionists and Nationalists in West Tyrone”; and “There is a growing sense that at last something will happen to change the town’s fortunes and transform the future employment prospects of the entire district.”
The Three Rivers Project scheme comprises:
- Employment Park max.12,075 sq m;
- Learning Campus max.6,525 sq m;
- Hotel Complex max.3,300 sq m;
- Retail Foodstore max. 8,200 sq m and service area;
- Garden World max.4,500 sq m;
- Petrol Filling Station max.120 sq m;
- Children’s Indoor Play Area max.600 sq m;
- Sports And Wellbeing Clinic max.1,350 sq m;
- River Wildlife Centre max.360 sq m, Car Parking; and,
- Environmental and access infrastructure and landscaping works.