1,800 homes planned as Neptune snaps up mega housing site

An aerial view of the massive 165-acre site near Ballyclare, Co Antrim
An aerial view of the massive 165-acre site near Ballyclare, Co Antrim

A THIRD expansive residential site in just months has been purchased in Northern Ireland by the Neptune property for an undisclosed sum.

The 165-acre site on the outskirts of Ballyclare has already been granted outline planning permission for 1,800 new homes and is believed to be the largest residential portfolio to come on to the northern market in the past decade.

It follows Neptune's previous major purchases of the former Belvoir Park Hospital site in south Belfast and the Linen Green shopping centre near Dungannon.

Patrick Heffron, director at Neptune Group, said the economic impact of the development "should not be under-estimated".

"The sheer scale of the Ballyclare site will enable us to create an exciting residential district close to the amenities of a superb provincial town, yet only 15 minutes from Belfast," he said.

"Not only will the Ballyclare business community benefit, but also outlying towns such as Antrim and Ballymena."

An important boost to the local construction sector, Mr Heffron said the firm would liaise closely with the local community and elected representatives so the proposed new link road could be constructed as soon as possible.

Historically, the Neptune Group has focused on large mixed-used regeneration projects in London’s East End but in recent years has acquired a number of key site residential sites in Belfast.

The most notable has been the former Belvoir Park Hospital which sold out almost immediately when released on the market in March.

Something of a media stir was created when determined house-hunters queued out from the early hours - on their deckchairs - to snap up the first of 300 homes which came with price tags ranging from £245,000 to £410,000.

In the same month the Neptune Group also purchased the Linen Green shopping centre in Co Tyrone.

Creighton Boyd, director at Neptune Group said there was was a "strong market" for new build homes in the Greater Belfast area.

"We witnessed incredible demand for phase one of our development at Belvoir Park in Belfast and we hope by implementing the Neptune design and development process, demand in Ballyclare will follow in a similar vein," he added.

Neptune Group was advised by legal firm Arthur Cox with the property sale handled by Simon Brien estate agents.