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Major facelift for Buncrana wasteland  30.01.08

A TWO-acre wasteland in Buncrana has been awarded funding for regeneration.
The land behind Buncrana Tourist Office runs alongside the Mill River and had deteriorated into an unofficial dumping ground. Part of it will become the base for the town's gardeners while it is envisaged the site could also become a wildlife habitat for schools and the public to visit.
The land is leased from the Department of Transport and Marine and while a hub of activity in the past, it degenerated beyond recognition in the last three decades.
Cllr. Daren Lalor. Talented town gardener George McDermott and his team will now be relocated to the site having previously worked within major space constraints behind the Council offices. The move means they will be able to increase the number of poly-tunnels they use to mature and tend new plants.
Sinn Féin councillor Daren Lalor, who pushed for the regeneration of the site, today welcomed the move.
"The reality is that we have been using this prime site at the entrance of our town as a landfill
for the last 30 years. So the question for me was why were we not using it to its full potential," said Cllr. Lalor. "After receiving full backing from my colleagues for a motion back in October 2007, we have now been able to allocate funding from this year's budget.
"As well as relocating the gardening depot on this site, we have started the process of consultation with individuals and voluntary groups within the town," added Cllr. Lalor.
"It is vitally important that we seek the thoughts and ideas for the project from members of the community. For if it is going to develop over time, it will only reach its full potential if it is community led."
The town councillor said the conservation value of the site next to the Mill River could be enhanced through the introduction of a wide range of insects such as butterflies, moths, birds, bats and other animals while providing an important source for local environmental education.
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