The 165-acre residential development site to the west of Ballyclare has been purchased by leading property development firm Neptune Group, it has been confirmed.
The site, believed to be the largest residential portfolio to come to Northern Irish market in the past decade, has already outline planning permission for 1,800 new homes.
The land, previously owned by Holm NI before the company’s ambitious Westlands project hit financial trouble, was acquired by Neptune Group for an undisclosed sum.
The London-based company’s acquisition of the land will bring renewed hope that construction of the long-awaited Ballyclare relief road - linking Templepatrick Road, Doagh Road and Rashee Road - will finally go ahead.
Patrick Heffron, Director at Neptune Group said: “The sheer scale of the Ballyclare site will enable us to create an exciting residential district close to the amenities of a superb provincial town, yet only 15 minutes from Belfast.
“The economic impact of this development cannot be underestimated.
“Not only will the Ballyclare business community benefit, but also outlying towns such as Antrim and Ballymena.
“As important will be the boost to the local construction sector that this development will provide, as we plan to start work on the site early next year.
“We intend to liaise closely with the local community and elected representatives in order that the new proposed link road can be constructed in a timely fashion.”
Historically the Neptune Group has focused on large mixed used regeneration projects in London’s East End, however in recent years they have acquired a number of key site residential sites in Belfast, most notably the former Belvoir Park Hospital.
In March this year the Neptune Group also purchased the Linen Green shopping centre near Dungannon.
Creighton Boyd, Director at Neptune Group said: “There is a strong market for new build homes in the Greater Belfast area.
“We witnessed incredible demand for Phase 1 of our development at Belvoir Park in Belfast which sold out almost immediately. We would hope by implementing the Neptune design and development process, demand in Ballyclare will follow in a similar vein.”
Neptune Group was advised by legal firm Arthur Cox with the property sale handled by Simon Brien estate agents.