Developer announces housing plan for former Tyrone County Hospital site in Omagh

Up to 170 residential units could be built on the site of the former Tyrone County Hospital.
Ryan McAleer

THE site of the former Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh looks set to be turned into a large housing scheme under a £25 million proposal by a south Derry property development firm.

South Bank Square Ltd has announced plans for 170 units on the former hospital site, which closed in June 2017.

The company, owned by Maghera businessman Seamus Gillan, bought the 20-acre site in late 2019. It was placed on the open market in June 2019 after a succession of public sector bodies passed on the site.

In that time, the cost of maintaining round the clock security topped more than half a million pounds.

Better known for his engineering firm BSG, Mr Gillan’s property company has launched a number of massive residential property schemes in recent years.

Among them a £100m bid for 800 homes in Ballyoan, Derry and a £45m proposal for a high rise ‘build-to-rent’ apartment tower on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street.

South Bank Square’s bid for the Tyrone County Hosptial site involves a range of house types, including apartments, townhouses, semi-detached and detached houses.

The company said the mature trees on the site will be retained along with “a significant amount” of open space.

In a nod to the site’s 118-year history as a hospital, the developer said a portion of the new homes will be offered to NHS staff at a reduced price.

The decision to close the Tyrone County Hospital dates back to 2002, when Enniskillen was selected as the preferred location for a new acute hospital in the Western Trust.

Despite a massive public backlash, services were gradually stripped from Omagh over a number of years, until it was eventually closed in June 2017.

The remaining services were transferred to a downgraded new primary care complex built just over one mile away.

South Bank Square’s development manager, Martin Mallon, said the firm will listen to the views of local people in finalising its proposal for the site.

“We are aware of the memories that many people will have of the former Tyrone County Hospital and we are keen to ensure people have an opportunity to share these memories with us during the public consultation process,” he said.

Mr Mallon also said that the firm is anticipating significant demand for high quality housing in Omagh.

“This is a prime development site located close to the town centre and local amenities such as schools, medical services and leisure facilities, as well as providing easy access to the A5," he said.

“We will offer a variety of housing options from two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached houses therefore making the site affordable for a wide range of purchasers.”

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