Templegrove Action Research Limited - Submission on Derry Area Plan 2011
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"The Derry Area Plan 2011:
The Divisional Planning Officer
Town and Country Planning Service
Department of The Environment for Northern Ireland
Templegrove Action Research Limited &
Lecturer in Applied Social Studies
University of Ulster, Magee College
We are grateful to Dr. Denis McCoy,
Dr. Brendan Murtagh, Andrew Hamilton, Barney Devine, Sam Porter,
John Torney and Donnie Sweeney for their advice and comments.
We are grateful to George Johnston and James Jordan for statistical
help. We wish to thank Tony McIvor, Malachy McChrystal and the
other staff in the Area Planning Office for their co-operation,
Brian Dougherty for further advice on planning issues, and to
Ruth Moore and Pauline Collins for providing invaluable ongoing
input to the document.
Templegrove Action Research Ltd. is
funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Central Community
Relations Unitof the Central Secretariat; Physical & Social
Environment Programme of the European Union, the Londonderry Initiative
of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland and
the Ireland Fund. Additional funding has been provided by the
Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, the Community Relations Council,
and Derry City Council.
Derry Area Plan 2011: Preliminary Proposals: a commentary
|Total Roman Catholics|
|Total Church of Ireland|
|Total "other"&"not stated"|
An examination of the figures for the
urban area of the city shows a change in the ratio of Protestants
to Catholics in the city, a substantial decline in the overall
total Protestant population in the city as a whole. (See Table
This trend is mirrored in similar trends
in the city of Belfast, where a similar exodus of the Protestant
population to the North Down and Ards area has been documented.
It is likely that the causes of such shifts are complex and composed
of a number of interacting factors. Nonetheless, the trend is
one which gives concern to social scientists, politicians and
policy makers in a range of fields. It raises questions about
the desirability of increased segregation and the kinds of balance
we wish to achieve, particularly in urban environments where the
greatest amounts of violence has been experienced. This raises
the wider issue of the role of planners in social engineering,
which is beyond the remit of this submission. The activities of
planners and policy makers has impacted, whether intentionally
or unintentionally, on factors such as the sectarian balance.
Further, we know that policy in certain fields such as housing,
play a significant role in shaping the sectarian geography of
our cities and towns. We submit that the Area Plan is an opportunity
to begin to disentangle some of these factors and explore the
role planners can and should play.
2. The second examination of the statistics
was aimed at establishing internal migration within the urban
area. For this purpose, an examination of the small area statistics
using grid squares was conducted. A patchwork of grid squares
which approximated the Waterside and Cityside areas was constructed,
and the total population figures, again broken down by religion,
were examined. Table 3 shows the Waterside figures, and Table
4 shows the figures for the Cityside.
TABLE 2: WATERSIDE (1): TOTAL POPULATION
|Total Roman Catholic|
|Total Church of Ireland|
|Total Other, none & not stated|
|Total not stated|
|Total population present on census night|
|Total population usually resident|
The Waterside Catholic population figures
for 1981 as with other figures for that year, (particularly for
the Catholic population) are not reliable. Nonetheless, there
has been a small increase in the Catholic population in the Waterside,
from 7708 in 1971 to 8032 in 1991: an increase of 324. The increase
in the Waterside Protestant population is somewhat larger: from
7849 in 1971 to 9935 in 1991: an increase of 1903.
An examination of the figures for the
Cityside (Table 3) shows that there has also been an increase
in the Catholic population in the Cityside, from 33951 in 1971
to 48233 in 1991, an increase of 14282. The Protestant population,
on the other hand, has decreased from 8459 in 1971 to 1407 in
1991, a decrease of 7052. This decrease of 7052 is not offset
by the increase of 1903 in the Waterside Protestant population.
The overall trend in population movement is of Protestant movement
out of the city area completely.
TABLE 3: CITYSIDE(2): TOTAL POPULATION
|Total Roman Catholics|
|Total Church of Ireland|
|Total other, none & not stated|
|Other denominations total|
|Not stated total|
|Total persons present on census night|
Table 1 suggests that the decline in
the Protestant population for the city as a whole is 4983 over
the twenty year period. Tables 2 and 3, which use different land
boundaries, suggest that the overall decline in Protestant population
in the Cityside of 7052 is somewhat offset by an increase in the
Waterside Protestant population of 1903, giving an overall decline
of 5149 for the city as a whole . It seems reasonable to conclude,
therefore, that the city population of Protestants has declined
by at least 5000 people.
However, this figure may be an underestimation.
It has been argued that the majority of those who respond "none"
to the religion question on the census are, in fact, Protestant.
Bearing this in mind, we should note-, according to Table 1 -
an overall decline in this category in the overall city population
of 4198. There has been an equivalent increase of 384 in the Waterside
"none, other and not stated" population in the twenty
year period, giving some credence to the view that these people
are, in fact, Protestant. A corresponding decline in the same
population in the Cityside (see Table 3) of 2896 would tend to
confirm this view. This means that the overall decrease citywide
in this category is 2512 people. Potentially, therefore, the population
loss of Protestants to the city is 5149 plus some of this number:
a maximum potential loss of 7661, although it is unlikely that
all of the 2512 "none other and not stated" category
What is evident from an examination
of the Cityside and Waterside figures is an internal shift of
Protestants from the west to the east banks of the city, in the
context of an overall decline in the Protestant population of
the city of between five to six and a half thousand people.
Some of these changes in population
balance are not due to migration, but to natural increases in
the population. Migration occurs for a variety of reasons, and
sometimes a combination of several reasons: upward mobility; acquisition
of better housing; employment; decline of the area due to vandalism,
redevelopment, as well as fear, intimidation and sectarian issues.
3. We looked at the Fountain and Gobnascale
as examples of enclave communities. We examined small area statistics
for two communities within the city.
3a. The geographic definition of the
Fountain community proved problematic, in that the community boundaries
have contracted with the decline in population. We used contemporary
boundaries as defined by current residents, and the figures here
are the nearest grid square data within those boundaries
TABLE 4: TOTAL POPULATION OF THE FOUNTAIN
|Total population of the Fountain|
|as a % of the total 1971 population|
|Total Roman Catholic|
|Total Church of Ireland|
What emerges from the examination of
the Fountain small area statistics is the severity of the population
decline whilst the religious balance of the population - predominantly
Protestant - remains virtually unaltered. Our preliminary inquiries
indicate that a variety of factors appear to be involved in this
depopulation: redevelopment; the housing market; a particular
form of housing blight; and sectarian issues including violence
and intimidation. What is clear is that the Fountain is a community
which requires urgent and special support, if it is to survive
culturally and socially. This means that special arrangement may
need to be made to recognise the plight of this community, which
has been uniquely affected by a combination of factors. To fail
to recognise the special situation of the Fountain and to fail
to take the steps required to support the community is to contribute
by default to the processes of increased segregation and neglect
which are endangering the viability of the Fountain as a community.
The Fountain, as an enclave community, has special needs. The
needs of enclave communities deserve special recognition within
the Area Plan, on a par with the attention paid to rural village
3b The population figures and religious
breakdown for Gobnascale were examined using the same definition
and method of extracting the data. Whilst the total Catholic population
in the area has fluctuated slightly, there has been a dramatic
decline in all other denominations, including a decline in the
category "Other, None and Not Stated." The marked trend
towards increased segregation is evident. This trend is symptomatic
of a wider trend towards an increase in internal segregation in
two communities, which we suggest may be indicative of a wider
trend towards increased segregation.
TABLE 5: TOTAL POPULATION OF GOBNASCALE
|Total population of Gobnascale|
|Total Roman Catholic|
|Total Church of Ireland|
|Total Other, None& Not Stated|
All of these trends towards increased
segregation have implications for planning and housing policy.
Murtagh (1994)(5) suggests that segregation is not necessarily
a bad thing, and segregation performs certain functions for the
enclave (and indeed the integrated) community. From the preliminary
work on the project, it is clear that segregated communities have
strong views about segregation and about the quality of their
lives within such communities. At this stage, it is not possible
to be more definitive about these views or their possible policy
implications. Templegrove would welcome the opportunity to provide
further information on this aspect of our work when we have collected
and analysed more data.
Specific concerns of the two communities
We are also aware, from the preliminary
work in each of the two communities, that each community has specific
concerns in relation to the Area Plan.
Specific Gobnascale issues
The proposal to construct a new connection
to Victoria Road known as the Gobnascale Link (17.5 Derry Area
Plan) is causing particular concern to some residents in Gobnascale.
We note that this proposal will require planning approval. However,
we would emphasise the need for close consultation with local
residents and the development of a dialogue with them, perhaps
through the medium of the 2010 group. Templegrove is willing to
assist the establishment of this dialogue, if local resident feel
we have a useful role to play.
Specific Fountain issues
At a public meeting which took place
in September 1994, in The Fountain, residents expressed concerns
about two main issues which are relevant to the Area Plan: car
parking in the Fountain, and traffic access and egress to and
from the area. Again, the need for close consultation with local
residents about these issues, bearing in mind the points made
elsewhere about enclave areas.
In the introduction to the Preliminary
Proposals of the Area Plan, it is stated:
The aim of the Plan is to give guidance
on the amount and nature of development which can be expected
and where it can best be located so as to create an overall environment
that will enhance the quality of life for the people of the Derry
The objectives of the plan include:
(i) identifying sufficient land for
development in appropriate locations to meet all anticipated needs
enabling the City and District to achieve their full potential
(ix) including sufficient land within
the development limits of villages and small settlements to satisfy
local housing and community needs taking account of their size
and environmental constraints.
At 4.3 it is noted that "Londonderry
has expanded in a generally northerly direction on either side
of the River Foyle. The Plan proposes a continuation of this long
established trend..." At 4.6 it states "Although most
of the City's growth will be accommodated in these peripheral
areas, the Department has identified a number of smaller development
areas in the City. These will assist in meeting housing need and
contribute to the creation of a vibrant city."
The Area Plan covers a number of topics,
some of which are of more concern to us than others. We recognise
that sectarian segregation has specific implications for the following
aspects of the Area Plan:
Industry and Employment:
(location of industry in relation to differential unemployment
rates in the "two" communities; )
Recreation and Open Space:
(allocation and use of open space, and its relationship to "ethnic
" space, and defensible space)
(location and characteristic of educational facilities: facilitation
of integrated/segregated facilities; nature and level of provision)
- see also Community Facilities below
and Public Utilities: ( neutrality
of venues, accessibility to "both" communities).
At this stage, due to preliminary stage
of our work, we wish to limit our comments to the following aspects
of the Plan:
Within the city boundary in particular,
much of the built heritage of the city carries very different
meanings for the Catholic and Protestant populations of the town.
The history and heritage of the city is one marked by division
and violence. Many of the valuable and historic sites in the area
remind us of events such as the siege which have different meanings
for each of the two sides of the sectarian divide.
The city walls carry a high degree of
significance for communities such as The Fountain, part of whose
history is embedded in the walls, but also whose daily lives are
also bounded (in part) by the walls. The "historic street
pattern" referred to in the Area Plan is also a pattern which
provided Fountain residents with a shape for their community in
the present day. The cultural and practical needs of the present
generation include the need for all citizens' in the city to have
their history respected, represented and protected by government
agencies. The work of the City's Museum Services has done much
to bring this history into common ownership, but there is much
work to be done.
Templegrove would welcome discussion
on policy relating to other landmarks in the city which commemorate
more recent history, and which also are similarly imbued with
significance for the communities in which they are located. Our
built heritage mirrors our heritage of past conflicts, some of
them painfully recent. If strategic planning is to play a role
in building a vibrant city, then it is important that these issues
are openly addressed.
As a policy principle, the views of the communities whose history is being represented, or in whose community such landmarks are located must be actively canvassed on a regular
basis. Such canvassing, however, sometimes
reveals division within as well as between communities. This should
not deter public servants from such canvassing, nor should it
deter them from seeking creative ways of absorbing conflicting
views, facilitating compromises and fostering respectful co-existence
in our community life.
At 8.2, the Area Plan states:
In considering the density appropriate
to each housing area, the Department will take account of the
topography of the site, its prominence in the landscape and the
character of surrounding development.
Part of the "character" of
development in such communities is the political/religious composition
of the area. This is significant information and influences, for
example the range of choices people feel they have in choosing
Again, at 8.3, it is stated:
On larger sites the Department will
encourage the provision of a range of house types to meet the
needs of the community and provide variety and choice.
As stated above, given the influence of sectarian factors on housing choice, the factors need to be explicitly addressed in planning strategies in relation to housing.
At 8.5, the Plan states:
Planning permission for housing development
on redundant or derelict sites, and the development of infill
or opportunity sites in general, will be dependant on a satisfactory
residential environment being provided and subject to no overriding
need for other uses for that land. The Department will seek to
ensure the cumulative effect of infill does not damage the character
and amenity of existing areas.
We note that public housing in Northern
Ireland in general tends to be segregated, with a few notable
exceptions. Residents of public housing often have strong views
about issues of segregation and integration, and about changes
in the composition of public housing areas. Where segregated public
housing is located next to private housing, the perceived safety
or desirability of certain sections of the community living in
the private housing can be affected. These factors should, in
our view be explicitly addressed in planning any housing strategy.
We recommend that where housing developments
are planned, an impact statement on the effect of any such development
on the religious balance of the surrounding area, in the same
way as an environmental impact survey would be routinely conducted.
Similarly, when redevelopment or rehabilitation of an area becomes necessary, the impact of such processes on the population religious balance should be taken account of. On occasions, residents in enclave areas have been temporarily rehoused outside of the area whilst rehabilitation or redevelopment is in process. Residents have been accommodated in housing of a superior quality to that which they left, and arguably to the new redeveloped
housing in the area. The result has
been that a proportion of residents were unwilling to move back
into the enclave, leading to a depopulation in the enclave, which
in turn affected morale, and the viability of the area.
We would argue for redevelopment strategies which operate on a smaller, incremental scale,
and which are sensitive to the need
to protect the stability of areas undergoing redevelopment.
We submit that planning policy in relation
to housing should:
It is of paramount importance that the
planning of housing creates and maintains safe and respectful
living conditions for all citizens in the city, and allows them
to live in either segregated or, integrated areas.
Where an area, such as the Fountain,
is losing population, we argue that it should be regarded as part
of the "character" of such an area that it is a Protestant
enclave. To provide housing for substantial numbers of people
who were not from the Protestant community would compound the
decline of the character and integrity of the area. Furthermore,
to use vacant housing in the Fountain to house students, for example
may not be in the best interests of Fountain residents. It is
of paramount importance that the views of Fountain residents are
carefully considered on this subject.
We wish to make two main points in relation
to the provision of community facilities: the first point relates
The general provision of community
facilities, including health education, recreation.
The second point relates to
The provision of support for voluntary
community activity, general provision of community facilities,
including health, education, recreation.
Allocation of resources and provision
of facilities on a simple per capita basis, particularly in larger
urban areas, ignores the issues of access to such resources created
by segregation and sectarian division. There is a need for a recognition
at a policy level of the special needs of minority communities,
and an undertaking to allocate resources to such communities on
a basis other than per capita. Catering for smaller numbers of,
for example children or older people) within their community of
origin, and respecting their traditions and beliefs is an important
part of maintaining and improving the quality of life for minority
and enclave communities. This may mean that apparent duplication
of education, social service or community facilities provision
is necessary in community facilities, in order to cater sensitively
for different traditions in the area. Youth provision in Gobnascale
is our example of this. Young people wishing to use the Waterside
Youth Club must travel through an adjoining Protestant estate,
making it difficult for them to use the youth facilities in the
Waterside. In such instances, these difficulties must be r recognised,
and special provisions made to meet the needs and circumstances
in the area. We advocate the adoption of a policy within the area
plan which recognises the need for this flexibility in resource
allocation and siting of community facilities in minority and
the provision of support for voluntary
13.4 of the Area Plan notes that
The community Services Division of Derry
City Council is responsible for the development and maintenance
of community centres in the District. Over the period of the new
Plan the City Council will endeavour to provide community centres
at Eglinton, Newbuildings, Lettershendowney and Tullyally as soon
as resources permit.
The provision of community facilities
can positively affect community cohesion, help arrest community
decline and act as a counterbalance to some of the factors which
contribute to population migration and the depletion of population
in vulnerable communities such as the Fountain. We would argue
that taking account of the sectarian divisions within the city
and district, permits planners and local government departments
to respond more flexibly to the needs of such communities. This
is something which is not possible if community need is assessed
without taking sectarian issues into account.
At 16.4 - 16.6 the area plan considers
the issues of commercial development, including the development
of retailing, shop and office premises and the attendant facilities
required such as car parking. We note that these issues impact
particularly on the Fountain community, it being a city centre-based
community. The interests of commercial development are not always
in harmony with the needs of the community. Therefore, it may
be necessary to find new and creative ways of protecting city
centre communities from incursions of commercial life into residential
At 17.2, the area plan discusses traffic
management, and this is an issue that impacts on the Fountain
community particularly. The area is used extensively for car parking
by those visiting or working in the city centre. Similarly the
traffic flow in the area is built around the commercial needs
of the city centre, rather than those of the residents. Given
the points made earlier about the specific challenges faced by
this community, we would advocate that the current situation is
reviewed. Reference is made at 17.2 to "conflict between
vehicles and pedestrians". We would simply note that some
of the pedestrians in question are walking around their own neighbourhoods,
which happen to be in the city centre.
At 17.5, reference is made to the proposal to construct the Gobnascale Link. As is stated
elsewhere in this submission and acknowledged
in the plan, an environmental impact study and for extensive canvassing
of the views of local residents is of paramount importance before
this proposal could be further considered.
At 18.3, the plan states:
The Department will retain and protect
existing residential areas as indicated on Map 3. New residential
development will be encouraged within the Central Area and suitable
sites have been identified ...
It is important that any residential
development which occurs in or around the Fountain is in keeping
with the wishes of the existing residents, and in keeping with
the culture and characteristics of the area.
The existence of a government sub-committee
in Stormont, which has produced an internal report on dealing
with peaceline communities (see Belfast Telegraph January 6, 1995)
in Belfast marks an important and courageous departure from earlier
planning strategies. Previously, planning, like many other areas
of public policy and administration, relied on implicit rather
than explicit policy in relation to issues such as segregation.
The concepts of neutrality and non-sectarianism were the guiding
principles which professional policy makers in a variety of fields
operated by. With the advent of cease-fire, and with increased
understanding about the obvious and more subtle effects of twenty
five years of political violence, it is important that the delicate
and crucial issues which have divided the communities are addressed
openly, and new policy is generated. In the past, issues such
as sectarian division were not openly addressed,-not only because
the official ethos was that of non-sectarianism, but also because
it was feared that by raising such issues divisions and conflicts
would be perpetuated and exacerbated.
We fully recognise that to argue for
this approach raises issues which are highly contentious. Public
bodies and public servants in Northern Ireland faced allegations
of discrimination in the 1960's and 70's, and continue to do so.
The policy response to this has frequently been to adopt a non-sectarian
approach. In practice, this can mean that policy on many aspects
of sectarian division does not exist within public bodies (beyond
staff recruitment). This may leave public servants, and others
operating within the area of public service, ill-advised and unsupported
by official guidance when faced with situations in which sectarian
division is a factor. Yet, over the past twenty five years, civil
unrest has affected virtually all aspects of life here, and planning
has been one area where the existence of violence, the erection
of peacelines and the movement of population into increasingly
segregated settlement patterns have shaped and influenced on the
Murtagh (1994)(7) concludes, in his
investigation of Ethnic Space and the Challenge to Land Use Management:
At the strategic level of the Belfast
Urban Area Plan, it is surprising that the issue of ethnic division
was scarcely mentioned. There is a broader research agenda on
the relationship between community relations and land use planning
at all levels in the policy system.
Writing about Derry Londonderry, Dougherty
(1994) (8) concludes:
The 1968 -81 Area Plan was formulated
before the outbreak of civil unrest in the city. The bombing campaigns
had an enormously detrimental effect on the built environment
particularly in the first half of the seventies. NIHE policy had
to concentrate [...] on repairing damage to homes. In addition
the [...] population movements by Protestants to the Waterside
placed a strain on resources. The 1981-96 Plan had to allow for
the continued growth of Protestant estates on the Waterside. In
the case of the Fountain estate, the movement had become so great
that in the eighties planners had to devise a plan that would
regenerate the area.
Riots in the early eighties in mainly nationalist areas again caused further damage and a movement of the Catholic population. This resulted in a strain
on housing land availability to the
north-west of the city and required planners to re-zone further
sites. The devastation caused in the early seventies meant that
by the eighties planners had to formulate a regeneration strategy
for the area... The existence of the security forces have had
an impact on certain parts of the city. For example, the erection
of security barriers hindered trade in Spencer Road until they
were removed, and are likewise doing the same in Strand Road ...
What we propose is that, in principle,
the Area Planning Team move from that position to one where they
begin to develop planning policy which explicitly recognises factors
of community division, and the position of minority and enclave
communities. We suggest that to develop and publish such a policy
would make explicit the principles on which planning decision
are made, and would prove a valuable contribution to the building
of trusting and open relationships between government and all
sections of the public.
There is a danger that, in pointing
out the other side of the issue in relation to segregation, we
sound as if we are promoting segregation as a principle. We would
like to differentiate between strategies, such as segregation,
which people have developed in order to live in a violently conflicted
society, and segregation as a principle.
We recognise that strategically people
have adopted segregation as a method of coping with violence and
conflict. We do not argue for segregation in principle. The principle
we argue is that of making choices available to people in order
to respect their fears and lifestyles. There is nothing to be
gained by enforced solutions, whether integration or segregation.
Ultimately, if we succeed in establishing a permanent peace, we
anticipate that many of the reasons for segregated living will
disappear. Until that occurs, segregated living as a choice for
people must be made available and the reasons for it understood
We also recognise that the development
of good policy in this sensitive area is not a task which can
be achieved quickly, or easily. Nor indeed can it be achieved
in isolation from the population for whom the policy is developed.
Nevertheless, we argue that a declaration of intent to develop
such policy would be welcome at this stage, and would stimulate
useful exchanges about the aims and nature of the current implicit
policy and any future explicit policy developments.
Given the recent evidence of the beginnings
of a departure from this approach at government level, the Derry
Area Plan 2011 is an opportunity to begin to explicitly address
these issues in the North West.
Consultation on the Preliminary Proposals
of the Derry Area Plan 2011 is welcome and we are pleased to participate
in the consultation process. We are concerned, however, about
the accessibility of the consultation process in its present form
to groups and individuals in the community who do not have easy
access to planning expertise, or who feel empowered by contact
with community organisations.
We would welcome discussion with the Area Planning Team on improving accessibility of the planning process to various disempowered groups and individuals in the community. During
the preparation of this submission we
became aware of a certain reluctance on the part of some sections
of the community to participate fully in the consultation process.
Ultimately it is the task of public bodies to improve accessibility
to all citizens and to develop more effective strategies for consultation
and involvement. This is a particular challenge in Northern Ireland,
where the so-called democratic deficit has increased the distance
between citizens and the public bodies which serve them.
It is argued here that it is necessary
to pay specific attention to issues of sectarian segregation and
population shifts in planning for the city and district. Locations
in the city vary in sectarian composition, and the shifting balance
of population is a factor which affects the nature of and quality
of life. Changing balances in populations have affected the safety
and comfort with which certain people can remain living in particular
areas. There is a strong argument for making a special case of
the needs of enclave areas. It may be, for example, that such
areas should be regarded as villages or small settlements, even
when they occur in urban settings. This would allow planners to
formally recognise the integrity of such areas, their fears, special
needs and their internal cohesion.
The issues identify three significant
priorities in the Derry Area Plan consultation process.
Until planning and other areas of public
policy begin to develop clear aims in relation to such issues,
the prospect of achieving progress on such issues is left to chance.
Opening up such topics is often difficult, and many people have
strong emotional reactions to such issues. Furthermore, there
is not easy package of policy solutions to the issues of community
division, the legacy of violence, or segregation, therefore the
prospect of opening up such issues can be overwhelming and can
appear hopeless. At this point, we in Templegrove can only submit
our view, that specific policy requires to be generated in relation
to issues of segregation and sectarian division. We are not yet
in a position to make specific policy recommendations, due to
the stage at which our work stands. However, we would welcome
the opportunity to provide detailed and comprehensive recommendations
to the Area Planning Team and to other relevant government departments
at the end of the project period.
1. Grid references for the Waterside
small area statistics are as follows: C455180 - C470200 + C420150
- C430160 + C435150 - C470160 + C430150 - C435155 + C455160 -
C464180 + C440160 - C455185
2. Grid references for the Cityside
small area statistics are as follows: C430160 - C440220 + C420160
- C430220 + C440182 - C450220 + C410155 - C420212 + C450182 -
C455212 + C430150 - C435160
3. Grid references for The Fountain:
C432163 - C436156
4. Grid references for Gobnascale: C437153
5. Murtagh, B.(1994) Ethnic Space and
the Challenge to Land Use Planning: a Study of Belfast's Peace
Lines. Centre for Policy Research, Research Paper 7, May 1994.
6. Belfast Telegraph, Jan 6, 1995
7. Murtagh, Op. Cit.
8. Dougherty, B. (1994) The Effect of
the Troubles on the Planing System in Londonderry. Masters Thesis,
University of Manchester, Department of Town Planning and Landscape.
TEMPLEGROVE ACTION RESEARCH LTD
A group of people from the Catholic
and Protestant communities in the North West and elsewhere in
Northern Ireland came together during 1993 to examine ways of
advancing the dialogue between the Catholic and Protestant communities
in the North West and beyond. After a number of meetings the group
clarified their intention to undertake the specific piece of work
outlined here. A company limited by guarantee and not having a
share capital was formed under the Companies (Northern Ireland)
Order 1986. The company was formed in order to provide a structure
which would ensure democratic management of the project. Several
of the company directors are drawn from the communities In the
study, in order to ensure close contact with the communities involved
in the project. The aims of Templegrove include:
THE SEGREGATION PROJECT
Residential segregation has been an
increasing feature of the "troubles" in Northern Ireland,
and there is recent evidence that the residential divisions in
urban areas between Catholics and Protestants have been deepening
(see McKitterick 1992 - check date and reference). The City of
Derry or Londonderry is an example of such residential segregation,
divided by the river Foyle, with a Catholic majority on the cityside
and a Protestant majority in the Waterside. In both the Waterside
and the cityside there are minority populations - in the cityside
the minority Protestant population is concentrated in the Fountain
area, and in the Waterside the minority Catholic population is
concentrated in Gobnascale. There have been recent shifts in this,
notably a move of Protestants out of the cityside, which has led
to concern amongst local people about the deepening of existing
Few accounts exist about the process
of this deepening, and the factors involved in the process remain
unexamined. It is part of Templegrove's brief to examine two particular
factors in its current research project: intimidation and segregation.
Little is understood about the experience
of intimidation that underlies such shifts, nor has much work
at a community level to address or reverse these trends been documented.
The experience of intimidation is independent of intentionality
- intimidation can be experienced without someone intending to
intimidate or setting our to do so. This is not to deny that intentional
and deliberate intimidation takes place in, for example housing
or in the workplace. Rather , it is merely to point out that the
experience of intimidation is derived from interpretation of the
meaning of situations, and this interpretation is done according
to acquired codes. The threshold of tolerance for "threat"
and what is experienced is contextual. What is perceived to be
threatening may vary according to the history, previous experiences,
identity and other aspects of the individuals or communities involved.
These issues call for a qualitative investigation, depending,
as they do, on subjective experiences rather than on objective
Segregation in Northern Ireland has
been the subject of a number of previous studies, notably those
of Murtagh (1992 and 1994),to Andrew Hamilton and Clem McCartney's
work on Violence in Communities, and to recent work by Coopers
and Lybrand in Strathfoyle. It also relates to work to Frank Wright
and Derrick Wilson's work on intimidation, to Roseanne Cecil's
work on Sectarianism, Kinship and Gender, and to Fred Boal's work
on segregation and encapsulation. This body of work has examined
various aspects of the effects of segregation on interaction within
and between the two communities. It has been largely quantitative
in nature, relying for the most part on social surveys methods
and statistical analysis.
Templegrove's current research aims
to build on this work. Interaction on certain issues between the
two communities can take place in spite of physical boundaries
and conversely interaction can be restricted or absent in areas
where there is a geographical mix. Mixed workplaces provide an
example of how issues of sectarian difference can be managed by
customs such as not talking about issues which touch on "unsafe"
ground. There the "segregation" occurs through a set
of social practices and norms, not through the arrangement of
the built environment. The project wishes to build on existing
work on segregation and explore both the positive and negative
effects of segregation. For example, in segregated communities,
we would expect to find that discourse about such "unsafe"
subjects can take place relatively freely within the homogenous
segregated group, given the absence of the "other sort".
Therefore segregation can enlarge the possibility of discourse
and dialogue within one's own community. Conversely, in matters
of discourse about sectarian division itself, it reduces the flow
of information from the "other side", leaving the fertile
ground for the reinforcement of stereotypes about "them".
The project is concerned to establish
the extent to which segregation creates an environment in which
safety is defined in terms of the complete absence of contact
with the "other sort". It aims to examine strategies
used by the segregated community to manage fear and the extent
to which the presence of the other community is likely to be perceived
as threatening, even in situations where "they" have
no threatening intention.
As a result, the project aims to understand
The project aims to explore with people
in specific communities in Derry their experiences of living in
a minority. We will collect evidence from these people on how
they as minorities are treated, and explore with majority communities
ways in which they can avoid domination and triumphalism, and
become more sensitized to the impact of such behaviour and structures
on minorities. Ultimately the project aims to identify and create
the conditions under which specific minorities can articulate
their concerns and have them seriously and routinely addressed
in ways that make for a mutually respectful community life.
The general aim of the research is to
discover and address the experiences of people living in a city
experiencing the polarisation of sectarian residential divisions
and explore strategies which arrest and/or redress the process
of polarisation. Specifically, one of the project aims is to:
4. (a) To identify measures which could be taken to combat the alienation of the communities
(b) To investigate the feasibility of
the implementation of such measures
It is anticipated that the project will
have three phases:
In phase one, we will chart, through
the use of census data, the demographic shifts in Derry city and
Waterside over the last twenty five years. We will look in detail
at two communities, how, if at all they h have changed their composition
and tracking the process of the change, how and when it came about,
the speed, circumstances and nature of the shifts. This will be
done through examination of such documentary sources as exist,
and through interviewing members of the community.
In phase two, we are concerned with
finding out how this changing situation has affected people's
lives. The views and experiences of four separate groups of people
will be gathered:
The material gathered will concentrate
on four connected substantive issues:
Questions which will be addressed will
In phase three of the work we will collate
and present the accounts in a manner that makes them accessible
to the public. This can be done through the use of local exhibitions,
local broadcasting of sound recordings or the making of videotapes.
The usual written records will be maintained and a final project
report will also be presented.
Presentation of the findings of the
fieldwork in places where people feel safest and most free to
engage in dialogue; this will emerge more clearly in the course
of the work. At present we anticipate, for example:
A - in local venues (eg. the Guildhall/touring exhibition/ video). The responses of the Catholic majority in the cityside (to the presentation of the Protestant minority on the city side) and the Protestant majority on the Waterside (to the presentation of the Catholic minority on the Waterside) can be documented and fed back.
B - in one central location for the
consumption and comment of local government, politicians, media
C - with specific target agencies, for
example the Housing Executive, or indeed the Planning Service,
who emerge as key agencies during the course of the project. The
project team, members of the Guildhall Group, and local community
members may wish to explore with such agencies the policy implications
of the findings for the agency and the community.
In establishing the project, representatives
of the group have met with a number of key people who have experience
and expertise in the area, or who have undertaken similar work
in the past. We would draw your attention to the presence of Mr
John Torney from the Londonderry Initiative, on the project's
by Templegrove Action Research Ltd.,
13 Pump Street, Derry Londonderry, BT48 6JG.
© Templegrove Action Research
Printed by Print-n-Press, Foyle Road, Derry Londonderry.
ISBN 1 900071 00 2 Price £2
CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.
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