The former flats at West Green in Holywood which have now been demolished

The former flats at West Green in Holywood which have now been demolished

IT was at one time a haven for LVF drug dealers who used it as a bolt hole from rival loyalist paramilitary groups.

Now the estate once dubbed ‘West Beirut’ is finally getting new housing stock after the LVF were driven out and a warren of flats they used were demolished.

For over two years the site has lain empty as delay after delay hindered building work from starting.

On Wednesday, a new social housing scheme was at last unveiled for the estate in the garrison town of Holywood, Co Down.

The development in West Green will have 31 two and three bedroom family homes, and six apartments designed specifically to meet the needs of independent older people.

It will be part funded by the Northern Ireland Executive and built by Clanmil Housing on a site previously occupied by two blocks of Housing Executive flats.

The new homes will be built to high levels of energy efficiency and completion is planned for September 2014.

All have been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards.

These ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date, the Department of Social Development said.

Housing Minister Nelson McCausland said: “One of my key objectives as Housing Minister is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access good quality accommodation.

“This planned development will ensure that and also see this part of Holywood revitalised.

“This new modern housing scheme, developed in consultation with the local community, will provide for a better layout in the area.

“It will place an emphasis on housing for families and older people that will contribute to, and help build on, the already strong sense of community in the area.”

The Minister added that he was pleased to hear that a significant central green area has been included in the development and is being designed in consultation with the local community.

Carol McTaggart, Clanmil Group Director of Property and Asset Management said: “Clanmil is committed to providing high quality, affordable homes and we are delighted to see work start on the construction of these much needed new houses and apartments at West Green, Holywood.

“We have worked closely with local community and political representatives to get the scheme to this stage and very much appreciate their help and support.

“We look forward to welcoming our new tenants next autumn and to continuing our partnership with the local community and their representatives in the delivery and management of these homes.”


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