£5m housing scheme to open in Ballyclare

The new housing at The Square in Ballyclare.
The new housing at The Square in Ballyclare.

A new £5.2 million housing scheme for people over the age of 55 is set to open this summer on The Square in Ballyclare.

The development is creating 39 new homes for active older people, as well as a ground floor space for a social enterprise.

Located on the site of the former Woodsides department store, the scheme is funded by an investment of £3.2 million from the Northern Ireland Executive with a further £2 million being provided by Choice Housing through private finance.

A spokesperson for Choice said: “This scheme will help meet the demand in this area for accommodation for the active elderly and provide homes for people on the social housing waiting list.

“Located in the town centre and being close to the local amenities, this new development will enable the residents to live independently and play a central role in the local community.

“We are finalising the last few allocations and we expect new tenants to be in their homes by July 2019.”

When work on the scheme started it was hoped it would be completed by August 2018.

Commenting on this, the spokesperson added: “As with all our new builds we work hard to ensure developments are delivered efficiently and on time. Working with statutory agencies and partners, we identified further areas of improvement during the construction phase.

“Although this delayed the initial handover of the scheme, it ensured we were delivering sustainable top quality housing which would stand the test of time.”

Michael McDonnell, group chief executive of Choice, said: “This is an exciting development that will provide new homes for older people in Ballyclare. These energy-efficient, accessible and adaptable homes are designed to meet the needs of older people. We look forward to officially opening the full scheme during summer.

“There are many demands for housing in today’s society and it is important that we get more homes underway. In Choice, we have an extensive new-build programme in place and are determined to do what we can to meet considerable need.

“We’re working in close partnership with local communities to deliver ambitious targets and meaningful change.”