WORK on one of the most ambitious housing and community development projects has started in Derry.
Radius Housing is to build more than 110 new homes in the Creggan area.
The project, which also involves Ulster GAA and Derry City & Strabane District Council, will also bring major improvements to the facilities at Sean Dolan’s GAC and develop a new multi-use community facility.
The project will transform the lands to the west of the current Sean Dolan GAC grounds at Bligh’s Lane and represents an investment in excess of £20million in the Creggan area.
Planning permission was secured in January, and Radius has appointed P & K McKaigue as the contractor for the project, who will be on site in the coming weeks.
Radius is working with Sean Dolans GAC, Ulster GAA, Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Housing Executive and the Department for Communities, to ensure all aspects are in place so the project can realise the wide ranging economic and social benefits for the local community and wider area.
Alongside the significant investment in 119 new social homes in an area of acute housing need, this project will support both Sean Dolan’s ambition to develop as a club and also the wider strategic plans of the GAA in growing the prominence of Gaelic games across the city.
A range of other opportunities, activities and events, which will have a positive impact on the wider Creggan community, will also be facilitated as a result of the project.
Radius Housing is a leading housing developer, constructing more than 400 new social and affordable homes each year.
It also manages more than 13,000 social homes, and provides care and support for many more across the North of Ireland.
This project is the latest Radius development in the North West, with construction currently underway on the former site of Ebrington Primary School.
Speaking on site, Anita Conway, Director of Development at Radius Housing, said: “We are delighted that the construction of this major project is beginning, and we are excited by the ambition and benefits this will bring to the whole community.
“We have been working with Sean Dolan’s GAC and the other partner organisations for over three years, and we see this as an innovative way to deliver high quality homes, in an area where social homes are needed, and support essential community development.
“As a developer we know the difficulties faced in acquiring suitable development land, and working with Sean Dolan’s we have both been able to develop an innovative partnership approach which addresses a wide range of needs in the local area.
“Working with community based clubs like Sean Dolan’s allows Radius to help them realise their untapped potential, and bring much needed homes to the local area and maximise all available amenities within these areas for the benefit of the local communities.
“This is so much more than a housing project and a sports hub. This will be a vital economic and social driver for the Creggan area and City wide.”
Stephen McGeehan, Head of Operations for Ulster GAA, said: “Every GAA club is keen to develop the best facilities for their members, which allow their teams across all ages to develop their skills and increase fitness and wellbeing.
“But there are always limitations on how this can be done, and we are delighted that Sean Dolan’s have been able to partner with Radius Housing on this amazing and far reaching project.
“This will bring an incredible level of community benefit, not just to the club, but to the wider city area, and we hope it is a new partnership model which can be replicated in other GAA and sports clubs.”
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has welcomed commencement of the work on the new much needed social homes in the city.
Minister Hargey said: “I’m delighted to see this work started. My priority is to deliver housing in areas where it is needed, and Derry City needs more housing.
“This £11 million investment is part of my new build programme, a programme I was able to secure £162million to be invested this year.
“I commend the work of Radius Housing and Sean Dolan’s GAC for working together on this ground breaking scheme.
“This is co-operative working at its very best and I look forward to seeing the finished scheme in due course.
“I look forward to seeing other developments in the near future as we continue to deliver the biggest shake up of our housing system in over 50 years. Housing, and having a place to call home, is a fundamental right.
“I am committed to delivering a housing system that delivers rights to everyone across society.”
The 119 new homes which are being constructed consist of:
· 46 No 3 person/ 2 bedroom houses
· 4 No 3 person/ 2 bedroom wheelchair accessible houses
· 33 No 5 person/ 3 bedroom houses
· 4 No 5 person/ 3 bedroom wheelchair accessible houses
· 13 No 2 person/ 1 bedroom apts
· 5 No 3 person/ 2 bedroom apts
· 2 No 3 person/ 2 bedroom wheelchair accessible apts
· 8 No 6 person/ 4 bedroom wheelchair houses
· 2 No 2 person/ 1 bedroom apts for the active elderly
· 2 No 3 person/ 2 bedroom apts for the active elderlyTags: