Hailed as Northern Ireland’s biggest development scheme and a much needed boost to the local housing stock and economy in Co Antrim, work is set to commence at Readers Park in Ballyclare.
The 165 acre site - purchased last year by London based Neptune Group - has outline permission for 1,800 homes and full planning permission for 123 homes at either end of the zoned land. Construction on 64 of these 123 homes will begin imminently. The 64 homes will neighbour the 61 homes currently on site which were built in 2010.
The scheme, which has a current gross development value of £350 million, will take around 20 years to complete and will bring an estimated 600 jobs to the wider Antrim, Ballyclare and Ballymena areas. It is thought that 300 of these jobs will be sustained for the duration of the 20 year construction period.
Neptune Group has a firm footprint in the property market in Northern Ireland, having a construction pipeline of almost 4,000 residential units here. The group is currently developing the old Belvoir Park Hospital site in south Belfast - the first phase was released last April and was sold out immediately.
Speaking about the development at Ballyclare, Neptune Group director Creighton Boyd said: “There is a real demand for high quality homes in Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to be supplying such a large number in order to help meet this demand. We pride ourselves on building homes to a high standard both in terms of design and quality and we’re very much looking forward to beginning work and ensuring each new home has the Neptune stamp of approval.
He continued: “We are also planning for the future construction of a further 59 units which will be situated on the Templepatrick Road. We’ve had positive engagement with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to date with regards to the new “Ballyclare Relief Road” which will run through our land ownership and how that can be brought forward in a timely fashion.
“During the lifespan of this scheme we are committed to working closely with the local community and elected representatives to ensure that the 165 acres of development land at Ballyclare realises its full potential and becomes a valued asset to the area.”
Simon Brien Residential will be managing the sales of the homes. Simon Brien adds: “There’s been a shortage of new high quality housing schemes in Co. Antrim over the past 10 years. With the scale and quality of finish of the new Readers Park, we’re confident that Neptune Group will create a destination and a range of prestigious homes that will attract buyers, not only from the local Ballyclare area, but also from the wider Co. Antrim region and further afield.”
The first phase, which will be accessed via the established Readers Park housing, will be released on Friday May 27 via Simon Brien Residential and Country Estates. It will comprise of a range of three and four bedroom homes with prices starting at £139,500.