A block of flats in the Rathcoole estate which has been lying derelict for several years has been earmarked for possible redevelopment.
Clanmil Housing Association confirmed this week that it is in talks with the owner of the property at Old Irish Highway about the possibility of acquiring the site for social housing.
“Clanmil is committed to the provision of good homes in areas of housing need and we are currently exploring the potential of the Old Irish Highway apartment building in Rathcoole. Talks with the building’s owner are at an early stage and negotiations are continuing,” a spokesperson said.
DUP representatives Nigel Dodds MP and Paula Bradley MLA have welcomed confirmation that Clanmil is in negotiations with the owner of the derelict site.
Speaking after a recent meeting with the housing association’s development manager, Ms Bradley said: “This derelict block of flats has been a terrible eyesore in the Rathcoole area for many years. The site has acted as a magnet for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping and has caused considerable misery to those living in the surrounding area.
“I have been working with Newtownabbey Borough Council for many months to try to have the site cleared and secured. The confirmation that Clanmil Housing Association are in negotiations with the owners of the site will be welcomed by residents of Rathcoole. I met with Clanmil recently to urge them to press ahead with acquiring the site and I sincerely hope that this area can be transformed for the betterment of the entire Rathcoole community.”
Mr Dodds added: “I am delighted that Clanmil have registered an interest in this site. There is considerable need for new social housing in Rathcoole and this site offers an excellent opportunity to meet part of that need.
“The DUP has led the campaign to ensure the delivery of more new-build social housing in Rathcoole and this site could add to proposals already in the pipeline for Derrycoole Way, Inniscarn Drive and East Way. We urge Clanmil Housing Association and the Housing Executive to press ahead with development of this site.”