The planning application was presented at a Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, November 8.
It proposed development of a ‘Go’ five-pump petrol station, with forecourt, air and water service area, underground storage tanks, as well as the two-storey drive-thru restaurant, on the vacant site across the road from Long’s supermarket and in front of KFC on Strand Road.
An officer told the Council the site was currently being used as a car wash, and that Strand Road housed a large retail park and was ‘one of the arterial routes into the city’.
They said: "The site is within an area zoned for redevelopment in Derry, much of it has been developed in the form of Sainsburys, a retail park and apartments, therefore the proposed site is compatible with the established retail uses."
Planners recommended refusal, but elected members on the committee unanimously voted to overturn this and approved the application.
A resident, whose home is near the proposed site, objected to the plan due to concerns of noise and light pollution and fears that the site will be used as a meeting point for ‘boy racers’.
They said: "Boy racers sit at McDonald’s at night, and I’ve also had to get out of bed at two, three or four o’clock in the morning, and go down to KFC.
“They’re sitting in the car park, they’ve their lights on, they’re listening to music and they’re revving engines, causing pollution as they go under my bedroom window.”
Representatives for the applicant assured the Council that the station would be under 24-hour security surveillance and would not have the car parking space for a large congregation of drivers at night.
One representative said: "If this development is successful, it will be a benefit to the area because it will take away the current site’s derelict nature.”
The £5m development will create 30 constructions jobs.
SDLP District Councillor John Boyle urged the applicant to factor concerns from residents in the development and operation of the site.
He said: “If this pushes forward, I want them to understand that local residents are also of considerable concern.
“I don’t want a situation where I’m having to ring up business owners with complaints.”
Local Democracy Reporter