‘There is a clear need for social housing’

Cllr Thomas Hogg pictured at the site at Inniscarn Drive and Old Irish Highway where he has called on the NIHE to build new homes. INNT 34-513CON
Cllr Thomas Hogg pictured at the site at Inniscarn Drive and Old Irish Highway where he has called on the NIHE to build new homes. INNT 34-513CON

A Macedon councillor has contacted the Northern Ireland Housing Executive calling for it to develop social housing units on a section of vacant land in the Rathcoole estate.

DUP representative Thomas Hogg, who has highlighted the need for more social housing in traditionally unionist/loyalist areas of the borough, believes the site at the junction of Inniscarn Drive and Old Irish Highway could be used to provide new homes.

It’s understood that Councillor Hogg has written to Housing Executive Area Manager, Mr Frank O’Connor about the need for new social housing schemes in the area.

The DUP man points out that the land at Inniscarn Drive, which is owned by the Executive, has been a magnet for fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour for many years.

“There is a clear proven need for more social housing in Rathcoole. This is something which was identified by the Housing Executive in their annual report, however, the number of new builds planned for Rathcoole falls far short of meeting the projected need of the area,” Councillor Hogg commented.

“This land at Inniscarn Drive is owned by the Housing Executive and has lain disused for very many years. This is unacceptable at a time of growing housing demand in the area and when the Housing Executive is failing to meet their five year projection for new build properties.

“I am calling on the Executive to develop a scheme on this land in order to meet the social housing need in Rathcoole,” he added.

An NIHE spokesperson confirmed that the Executive is working to meet assessed housing need in the area.

“We have reviewed NIHE lands in Rathcoole, which include Inniscarn and Deerfin Park/Derrycoole Way with a view to ensuring a robust programme is in place to address housing need in the area. At this stage we are compiling the programme internally. It goes through a number of stages before being issued to the Minister for his consideration and approval. The approved programme will be published on the NIHE website later this year,” she commented.