Radius Housing & Braidwater Group begin construction of 87 new homes
The first sod has been cut to mark the beginning of construction of 87 new homes at Coleraine Road, Portstewart. The project, which will be developed for Radius Housing, will see 75 new social homes and 12 affordable homes for sale built on the site.
The first sod was cut by Ciaran Doherty Chair of Radius Development Committee, alongside Chris Davis from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Harry Maher from the Department for Communities and Vincent Bradley from BW Social Affordable Housing Ltd, who will be building the new homes.
The project will see an investment of £11.5m investment to construct the new homes, which includes a £5.5m housing association grant from the Department for Communities and £6m of private finance from Radius Housing. Radius Housing is investing in the construction of a range of new social and affordable homes right across Northern Ireland and they have a growing portfolio of property in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. The new development will consist of 20 apartments, 9 townhouses, 54 semi-detached houses and 4 detached homes, while 12 of the new homes will be sold as affordable homes, which are designed to provide an affordable housing option.
The development has also been designated as a Housing For All scheme in line with commitments contained within the Draft Programme for Government Framework 2016-2021, which sets out ambitions to deliver 200 shared housing units per year as part of the wider Social Housing Development Programme.
Harry Maher, the Shared Housing Programme Manager at the Department for Communities, said:
“The Department is delighted to be funding this exciting shared housing development at Coleraine Road, Portstewart. Not only will it deliver valuable social housing for the area but will also contribute to a shared society. With 76% of people in NI indicating that they would prefer to live in a mixed neighbourhood this scheme provides that opportunity.”
“Importantly, this scheme will be supported through Good Relations Support funding, and we would encourage the surrounding community and voluntary organisations to join the scheme’s Advisory Group and get involved in developing the scheme’s five-year Good Relations Plan.”
Speaking at the sod cutting, Ciaran Doherty Chair of Radius Development Committee, said “Radius is delighted that work at the Coleraine Road site in Portstewart has commenced. We have been proactively seeking a mixed tenure development opportunity in the area for some time to help address the high level of housing need locally and also the challenges facing first time buyers. We look forward to seeing the work progress on this innovative project with our delivery partners NIHE, DfC and BW Social Affordable Housing Ltd in early 2020.
“At Radius we are committed to creating balanced new neighbourhoods which integrate with the wider community, and to support this we will be working with local schools, community groups and sports clubs, to bring new opportunities and support local projects,” he added.
Vincent Bradley, Development Director, Braidwater Group added “At BW Social Affordable Housing, we are looking forward to working with Radius Housing to begin work on this development, which has wide support from local councillors, MLAs and the Causeway Coast Communities Forum. Our plan will play a role in ensuring that, for the first time in many years, the housing waiting list in the Portstewart area will be reduced. A wide range of housing needs will be met with high quality social and affordable housing and the site is ideally situated close to shops, bus routes and health services. We would like to thank the public for their supportive input at our consultation events.”
Dr Mark Browne, Deputy Secretary at The Executive Office said: “I am delighted to celebrate the start of work on a new Shared Neighbourhood housing scheme, delivered as part of the wider Together: Building a United Community (TBUC) Strategy. The Strategy set a target to establish 10 such schemes and I am delighted to be able to say this target has been met – but we want to work with our partners across government and the housing associations to achieve more, and this new scheme is an example of that ambition. At its core, the success of the T:BUC strategy is dependent on partnerships and this scheme is a great example of this type of collaborative working leading to positive outcomes. I would like to take this opportunity to say well done to everyone who has been involved in this process and to wish you every success going forward into the future.”
Work on the new homes is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022.