New £4m apartment block for Rathcoole

A new £4m social housing development is planned for the Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey.

A planning application has been submitted to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council by Connswater Homes for an apartment block at Barna Square on the site of a former Royal Mail sorting office and Gildea’s Hardware store.

Connswater said: “The investment is estimated at £4m and will be part-funded by the Department for Communities and will be delivered in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Executive.

“The scheme is set to make a positive contribution to the character of the existing area through demolition of existing derelict buildings and replaced with a quality, high performance and well-designed scheme which includes three wheelchair standard homes.

Architect's impression of the proposed Barna Square scheme

“With the Antrim and Newtownabbey Housing Investment Plan identifying a requirement for 45 further homes in Rathcoole across the 2018-2023 period, the scheme will go some way to addressing unmet social housing need in the area.”

If the application is successful, Connswater anticipates construction will commence in summer 2023 with a 20-month build programme.

Welcoming the application, Macedon Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster said: “These 22 apartments will go some way to addressing the chronic need for social housing in the area.

“With the housing crisis and people in housing stress only spiralling, this new development will offer a glimmer of hope to those on waiting lists, but more needs to be done.

“I have long fought for new quality homes across the Macedon area, along with critical repairs to existing stock to make them fit for purpose and I will continue to do so.”

Michelle Weir

Local Democracy Reporter.