31 March 2006

Stay clear of Rosemount barracks


Derry Journal


31 March 2006

Resdents will oppose any moves by private developers to muscle in on the Rosemount Barracks when it is vacated by the British Army.
The comments were made as local people welcomed confirmation from the British Army that Rosemount security tower will be demolished next year.
The levelling of the tower will bring to an end the campaign to remove the facility which has lasted more than 12 years.
Campaign spokes-man, Cecil Hutcheon told the 'Journal' that a commitment has already been given by the PSNI that the barracks will be handed back to the community after it is made redundant.
However, a number of major developers are believed to have expressed an interest in acquiring the site, a situation that Mr. Hutcheon has warned will never be allowed to materialise.
""We've heard of a few developers who intend to try and make a killing on the site but we say 'over our dead bodies'," "he said.
""We are totally opposed to any private developers coming in to build some kind of monstrosity after our years of campaigning to have the site vacated,"" he added.
Radical proposals
However, residents have welcomed radical proposals announced last December by Rosemount Resource Centre and Creggan Enterprises Limited for the two acre site.
They include the construction of a health centre, sheltered accom-modation, a satellite ambulance base, youth facilities and training facilities, as well as the creation of many jobs for the local community, where employment has been scarce for years.
Meanwhile, Tues-day's announcement by Defence Minister Mr. Adam Ingram also included plans for the dismantling of the Masonic base at Bishop street by July 2007.
The headquarters of the 8th infantry at Shackelton Barracks in Ballykelly is also to disband and hand over responsibility to the Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn.
Sinn Fein Derry City councillor, Paul Fleming said his party remains sceptical about any timetable announced by the British Army.
He said the people of Derry would believe the plans to dismantle the Masonic base at Bishop Street and the PSNI watchtower at Rosemount ""when they see it done"".
""This is just a regurgitation of the announcement made by the Secretary of State 18 months ago and again a number of months before that.""

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