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Fold plans to build 244 homes in £25m project at former Visteon site in west Belfast

By Staff Reporter

A revised planning application could see more than 244 homes built as part of a £25m investment by Fold Housing Association at the site of former Visteon site in west Belfast.

Fold Housing had been told to revise an initial scheme to include additional space for economic or other business use.

In response, Fold Housing Association said it reviewed the amount of employment space to be provided on the site and has now submitted a new application which increases the space from 40,000 sq ft to over 60,000 sq ft.

The proposed scheme includes 244 new private and social homes.

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John McLean, chief executive of Fold Housing Association, said he believed the revised plans "will benefit the local community in many ways".

He said: "West Belfast currently has one of the highest housing waiting lists in Northern Ireland, with more than 2,000 people living in housing stress.

"Our plans will see much-needed homes for social rent alongside affordable homes for sale.

"In total, 244 new homes will be available for families seeking to settle in this area.

"The amended proposal includes business-use floor space which has the opportunity to create over 600 jobs, depending upon the final end user."

The Visteon factory - a spin-off from car giant Ford - closed in 2009 with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

It remains empty and has been deteriorating since the closure.

Mr McLean added: "This project will provide an immediate boost to the construction industry.

"We have exciting proposals for apprentice schemes during construction as well as for long-term local employment opportunities maintaining all the facilities on site in the future," he added.

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