Plans are being drawn up for a major new social housing development in the heart of Glengormley, the Newtownabbey Times can reveal.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) has given its support to plans for the construction of more than 50 new homes at the former Tesco site at Carnmoney Road.
The proposed scheme could see the disused supermarket and remaining shop units demolished to make way for a new residential development.
“We have just reached an agreement to purchase the former Tesco site on Carnmoney Road and solicitors have been appointed,” a spokesperson for Clanmil Housing Group confirmed.
“Subject to successful completion of this purchase we have support from NIHE for the construction of 52 family homes.
“In addition, we are actively pursuing a number of other potential development opportunities in the area that would help us provide more homes and we look forward to announcing details of our plans when site purchases are finalised,” she added.
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said delivery of the project at the old Crazy Prices supermarket site will bring to an end a 40-year wait for new family social housing in the local area.
“For many years, my colleagues and I have challenged the Northern Ireland Housing Executive over their disgraceful neglect of the Glengormley area, failing to provide any new family homes since 1972. This is despite the Common Landlord Areas of Queens Park and Glenvarna having an unmet social housing need figure of over 100,” he said.
“We first identified the former Tesco site to the NIHE over two years ago as a suitable site to meet the housing need in Queens Park and Glenvarna and I am delighted they have taken forward our advice. The development has been programmed to begin in 2016/2017; however we will be pressing for work to begin as soon as possible.”
North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley commented: “Glengormley ranks amongst the highest in terms of unmet social housing need, particularly in relation to family homes. After countless meetings and continued lobbying I am delighted we have achieved a breakthrough.”
Claiming that the DUP is “the only party to have championed the issue of social housing provision in Glengormley”, Ms Bradley added: “I am delighted that we have brought to an end the disgraceful delay in new homes for the people of Glengormley.
“Whilst these new homes will be a huge boost to the local community, residents can be assured that my party and I will continue our campaign for further social housing provision in the area to meet the high levels of demand in the Queens Park and Glenvarna area.”
Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “The Carnmoney Road site is being considered for inclusion in the draft 2016/17 - 2018/19 Social Housing Development Programme which is subject to approval by the Department for Social Development.
“We can confirm that the Housing Executive is supporting the development of new social homes on the site.”