Developer aims to build big new Co Down housing estate

A developer who is aiming to construct a new housing estate in Banbridge has submitted an outline set of plans.

The site of the planned development
The site of the planned development

In all the scheme on the south-eastern side of the town will occupy nearly eight hectares (about 19 acres) and will consist of 176 homes off the Newry Road.

The applicant is Lotus Homes, which has already built 91 homes in a development called Bishops Green, off the Castlewellan Road in the town.

Very few other details are included within the plans, which were received by officials at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on Thursday of this week.

For example, it is not clear from the application form how the housing stock will be split up (in terms of how many homes will be detached, semi-detached, terraced, etc).

However, Lotus does intend to begin running a consultation and public information measures within the coming weeks.

Leaflets will be delivered to anyone living within 200 metres (660ft) of the development from April 26, and a website will appear from May 3 onwards.

DUP councillor for the town Paul Greenfield said that in principle the plan is a good idea – but warned about the pressure which it could put on the town’s roads and services.

“This is bustling town, good schools, a good area – and it’s a welcome development.

“But caution has to be given around the infrastructure that’s in place.

“The roads infrastructure is quite busy already...

“It’s just making sure attention is paid to the houses that are already there and the residents already there.”

Councillor Kevin Savage, Sinn Fein representative for the town, told the News Letter much of the ground in the area is already prepped for building work to begin.

“In terms of the Newry Road, it’s a very busy arterial route and quite well developed as it is at the moment,” he said.

“There’s a school already on it, you’ve also got a Lidl, a big filling station, it’s very well developed as things stand.

“It’s a conundrum – there’s always a need for housing but it’s getting it in the right place.

“It’ll be very much dependent on whether the infrastructure can cope with further development.”

At the time of the last census, there were already about 16,500 people living in the town, in about 6,700 homes.

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