Margaret Ritchie to meet with MoD as they confirm intention to demolish almost 200 homes at Ballykinler site
THE Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed it intends to demolish almost 200 houses on an army base site in Co Down.
A spokesman said that "199 surplus service family accommodation" properties at Abercorn Barracks at Ballykinler could not be retained "due to the enduring need for the use of the adjacent Ballykinler Training Centre by Reserves and Regulars".
The news comes amid calls for the homes to be refurbished and sold to the public.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said last night that the housing stock needed to be "developed for the benefit of the local community".
The SDLP MP also revealed she had secured a meeting with MoD Minister Mark Lancaster in the coming weeks to discuss the future of the site.
"The development of this housing stock has the potential to bring economic benefit to the area and first class housing situated in a very scenic part of South Down," said Ms Ritchie.
"The MoD appear to be looking at the housing as simply an asset they no longer require and see the answer as demolition. However, the MoD must review this decision and look at the needs of the community".
She added: "I will be meeting with Minister Lancaster in the coming weeks and will be discussing this in detail with him and outlining the positive social and economic legacy this could be for the MOD and the local community".