Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Future of St. Lucia site, Omagh

Ulster Unionist Ross Hussey described St Lucia Barracks in Omagh as the town's "jewel in the crown" during the adjournment debate, on 27 November 2012.

Mr Hussey and his fellow West Tyrone MLAs were concerned that the barracks, which they said should have been gifted to the Executive by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), could be sold off to the private sector.

The UUP MLA called for the retention of the site as part of the Omagh town centre masterplan, and said the blueprint for the process already existed in the transformation of Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry.

Declan McAleer of Sinn Fein was also keen to see the site kept in public ownership.

He described the barracks as "a gem right in the heart of Omagh".

Mr McAleer said there was a problem with the original covenant for the barracks, which stated that the site must remain in use by the military or it would revert to the original owners.

Ross Hussey intervened to explain that the MOD was in the process of "buying-out" the covenant.

The SDLP's Joe Byrne said it was "crucial" that the site remained in public ownership, and he called for the publication of the Omagh masterplan.

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