Former British military site transformed into £2.2m social housing development

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Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Community, News
A disused military compound in the hills of the Ring of Gullion in Newry has been given a new lease of life by Fold Housing Association with the official launch of a £2.23m social housing development.
A disused military compound in the hills of the Ring of Gullion in Newry has been given a new lease of life by Fold Housing Association with the official launch of a £2.23m social housing development. Pictured at the launch of Park Urney in Forkhill village is (L-R) DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill, Fold tenant Brigid O'Hanlon and chair of Fold Housing Association, Diana Fitzsimons.

Pictured at the launch of Park Urney in Forkhill village is (L-R) DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill, Fold tenant Brigid O’Hanlon and chair of Fold Housing Association, Diana Fitzsimons.

Park Urney in Forkhill village is a high-quality new build scheme which consists of 22 properties in total. The development includes 2 and 3 bedroom houses, 2 bedroom apartments and one fully accessible wheelchair bungalow, reflecting the different needs of the families on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) waiting list. The site, which had been used by the Ministry of Defence for over 30 years, closed down in the late 1990s. In 2007 the Department for Social Development (DSD) produced a master plan for the development of the former base that included social housing, industrial and business units, childcare facilities, community space and sporting and recreational space. Fold Housing Association purchased a two acre site in March 2012 and the new homes have been delivered in two phases. Diana Fitzsimons, chair of Fold Housing Association, said, “The launch of our development at Park Urney reflects the continuing transformation of the area as a better, safer and healthier place to live. “We have been working alongside the NIHE, DSD, the design team, local politicians and community representatives to improve living conditions and encourage physical, social and community regeneration.
Pictured at the launch of Park Urney in Forkhill village is (L-R) Fold tenant Brigid O'Hanlon, chair of Fold Housing Association, Diana Fitzsimons and DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill

Pictured at the launch of Park Urney in Forkhill village is (L-R) Fold tenant Brigid O’Hanlon, chair of Fold Housing Association, Diana Fitzsimons and DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill

“Fold wish to extend thanks to all of the organisations involved for their hard work and dedication in bringing this development to fruition. The modern dwellings reflect the character of the area and we wish the residents every success and happiness in their new homes,” she added. The DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill said, “I would like to congratulate Fold Housing Association on completing this outstanding development very quickly and efficiently. The completion of this housing scheme marks a further significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Forkhill site. “ Minister O’Neill said the housing scheme will provide affordable housing for the local community. “This brings us a step closer to the full regeneration of the former military site in partnership with the Forkhill and District Development Association. She added, “Speaking with Brigid (right) in her new home it is very much apparent how the regeneration of this former British military site is improving the lives of our rural dwellers.”

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