CASTLEDERG councillor Ruairí McHugh, says he is not ruling out the possibility of the local council purchasing the disused police station in the town.
Located on the Castlefin Road, the PSNI station remains under the control of the Policing Board NI (PBNI) but is currently on the open market for sale.
Derry and Strabane District Council has announced plans to hold a public consultation event to identify future development options for the former Castlederg police station.
Welcoming the move, Cllr McHugh said, “Sinn Féin long campaigned for the closure of the heavily militarised PSNI station as it was not only an unsightly blot on the landscape, but because it was lying empty and served no practical purpose and therefore represented a massive drain on the public purse.
“We have also been consistent in our view that the site, located as it is in the centre of the town, would be best utilised to engender the socio-economic regeneration of the town.”
Pointing out that there has been nothing, “forthcoming” from council to suggest they are interested in purchasing the building, Cllr McHugh hopes the public consultation will help develop new ideas and interest.
“It would be very disappointing to see this space not being developed into something that would generate community service and job creation within this area.”
Cllr McHugh added, “Unfortunately we have to accept that ultimately it will go to the highest bidder, but I would encourage as many local voluntary, community, sporting, cultural groups as possible as well as the local business community and people in a private capacity to come along and have your say in this important consultation.”
Meanwhile UUP Councillor Derek Hussey says there is a lot of interest in the site.
“Obviously the former PSNI station which is in pristine condition, needs to be developed for the benefit of the whole community,” said Cllr Hussey.
The public consultation will take place in Derg Valley Leisure Centre, but a time and date is yet to be confirmed.
Posted: 2:53 pm May 12, 2017