UUJ housing project could see school redeveloped, says MP


East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has said the University of Ulster’s plan for a major housing development at its Jordanstown campus could see nearby Whiteabbey Primary School rebuilt.

The university is planning to build around 600 homes on the site following its move into Belfast city centre.

The £50million plan will see the university retain its sports facilities along with the student halls of residence and specialist fire safety and research facility.

MP Wilson said following the lodging of the planning application he would continue to liaise with the university on behalf of concerned constituents.

He said that the issue was not whether the University was going to move, but what would go on the site after the university did move.

He reiterated the concerns that had been expressed about the housing mix, the densities of the housing and housing types as well the impact which a development of this scale was likely to have on the existing traffic infrastructure.

Mr Wilson said: “The development of the site may create an opportunity for the rebuilding of Whiteabbey Primary School which is in need of extensive capital work, but which was badly placed in terms of traffic and accessibility.

“To date no interest has been shown in any part of the site by the North Eastern Education and Library Board and I believe this is an issue that the North Eastern Education and Library Board should be looking into, since opportunities like this would only arrive once in a lifetime.”

The former Finance Minister added: “I urge the university to keep in touch with the people in the local area by means of a newsletter, or where appropriate, public meetings, so that they can be fully informed of what is happening at each stage of the planning process.”