Derry house builder submits bid for £95m residential project in west Belfast

The Glenmona site lies between the Glen Road and Monagh Bypass in west Belfast.
Ryan McAleer

DERRY house builder Braidwater has submitted a £95m bid for major residential development on a 75-acre site in west Belfast.

The Eglinton-based group has described the ‘Glenmona’ project on the Glen Road as one of the largest residential planning applications ever to be received by Belfast City Council.

Braidwater said the plan will result in a new mixed-use urban village, comprised of 550 social housing units 106 affordable homes. The proposal also provides for two care homes, a retail centre, a hotel, office and business space and children’s play areas.

New public transport linkages factored in for the site, which straddles the A55 Monagh Bypass.

Apex Housing Association will be responsible for the management of the completed social rented homes.

The Braidwater Group said affordable housing will be offered for sale to first time buyers or people who are currently not in home ownership.

The Co Derry firm is currently active on eight development sites around the north, with close to 1,000 private and social homes under construction.

The company’s planning and technical director, Finbarr Grogan, said over a year had been spent on the pre-planning process before submitting an application.

“There is high demand for social and affordable housing in this area and we have had a positive engagement process with all key stakeholders, which we believe will result in a scheme that will work for the whole community in west Belfast.

“At this time, it is crucial to try and keep the economy moving forward and we recognise the vast effort of our professional team in finalising a complex planning application remotely during the coronavirus lock down,” he said.

“We are also very pleased and grateful that Belfast City Council and its planning team is able to begin to process this application, among the many other priorities and challenges it is facing at the moment.

“We are delighted the Council was able to adapt normal working procedures and practices to remotely accept and validate such a major application so quickly in the current environment.

“Our plan is to go straight to build if approval is granted and this quick turnaround will be of particular importance for our local construction sector, which has faced a very difficult few months.”

Mr Grogan said Braidwater had responded to the public consultation process by including a variety of dwelling types taken and factoring in a new bus service to the site.

“The ‘buy social’ programme at Glenmona will ensure that job opportunities will be offered to apprentices, long term unemployed, education leavers and professional trainees.

“We have also focused on sustainability, biodiversity and environmental factors, with plans to retain existing and plant over 10,000 new native species trees, adding to the wooded character that will last into the future.”

An artist's impression of how the Glemona project could look under Braidwater's proposal.

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