New social housing earmarked for Rathcoole

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is proposing new social housing in Rathcoole after it demolishes two of the estate’s iconic tower blocks.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:33 pm
The four iconic tower blocks in the Rathcoole estate.

The public housing body outlined the plans following a meeting with unionist political representatives last week.

Cllr Dean McCullough (DUP) Cllr Robert Foster (UUP) had joint discussions with the NIHE on Friday.

In a statement issued afterwards, the Macedon representatives said: “Our meeting was held in relation to the tower blocks in Rathcoole and Rushpark, in particular the imminent plan to demolish Monkscoole House.

“We were united in our opposition to the notion that land at Monkscoole, Rathcoole, could lie derelict if demolished with no development happening until the adjacent Abbotscoole block is demolished, if ever - further exacerbating waiting lists which are already at crisis point.

“Housing must be built now to alleviate the housing crisis before considering demolishing the tower blocks. We will continue to press this and present alternative development plans for Monkscoole at all levels.”

In response, a NIHE spokesperson said: “The Housing Executive’s Tower Blocks Action Plan proposes the demolition of both Monkscoole House and the adjacent Abbotscoole House, and the development of new social housing as one scheme on their combined cleared sites.

“A business case recommending the demolition of Monkscoole House has already been approved by the Department for Communities and we are now appointing a consultant to prepare a demolition scheme.

“A business case will be prepared for Abbotscoole House and submitted to the Housing Executive’s Board and the Department for Communities for approval.

“We have no plans to demolish the two tower blocks at Rushpark.”