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‘Auditor to probe £1m Foyle St. failure’ - Anderson

1 December, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin

The Auditor General is to investigate the failure to develop Derry’s Old City Hotel site despite the investment of over £1m of public funds, Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has revealed.

“The Department of Social Development announced in 2006 that the former City Hotel site in Foyle Street would be transferred into a 'landmark development that would 'set new standards' for the city," Ms. Anderson commented.

“Since then we have seen absolutely no progress despite repeated promises from the different SDLP Ministers responsible that the site would become an 'iconic flagship development' which would help regenerate the entire city.

“But after ten years of delay, the Minister recently confirmed to me that over £1million has been spent on the site with still no sign of the development we were promised. Instead, the site is to be landscaped to provide a small urban park together with 50 car parking spaces.

"I recognise the need for additional car parking in the city but we could have had that ten years ago and without squandering over £1m of public funds. I believe that is a scandalous waste and I brought it to the attention of the Public accounts Committee.

“The chairperson of that committee has now informed me that the matter will be investigated by the Auditor general and I look forward to the conclusions ofthat investigation.

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