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Two housing schemes get under way in Northern Ireland

By John Mulgrew

Lagan Homes is planning to build more than 50 new houses in Co Down.

The house builder is developing a series of detached, semi-detached and town house properties, along with garages, at land close to Glebe Park at Aughnafosker, outside Moira.

Following a community consultation, residents "were generally supportive" of the scheme, planners said.

"However, the main concerns raised were in relation to traffic levels for Moira area as a whole," they added.

"Some residents mentioned that they would like to see larger houses and as such, a new bigger house type was developed."

It's the latest major development for the Belfast firm.

Lagan Homes has also indicated that it is planning to construct 550 family houses in two locations in Bangor.

It comes as Kingscourt Brick, part of the Lagan Group, says it has seen a marked increase in demand for its clay brick products, with orders rising significantly from small and medium-sized house builders across the UK and Ireland.

The need for increased brick supply is being driven by the housing shortage and the UK government's target of building one million new homes by 2020, the equivalent of 200,000 homes each year, the firm said.

Seamus Holland, general manager at Kingscourt Brick, said: "We are delighted with levels of demand and are currently reaching full capacity with the one tunnel kiln and expect in the near future to announce the opening of the second tunnel kiln.

"We will continue to review current and forecast demand levels and when the time is right we will bring extra capacity on to the market."

And Jude Lagan, managing director of Lagan Products, said: "Small to medium sized developers and independent businesses striving for growth in a challenging market are often the most affected by any shortfall in supply.

"Large multinational suppliers are challenged to sell high volumes of product and therefore service only national stockists.

"The majority of our customer base tends to reflect the Lagan Group business in that we are an independent, family owned company.

"Our strategy is to support these small to medium sized merchants to ensure supply continues to flow to meet the resurgent demand for our products."

Meanwhile, a Co Down house builder has received planning permission for 75 new homes as part of a £10m development.

Northland Developments (C&T) Ltd will build the new detached and semi-detached homes which will complete the third and final phase of the River Hill development, located off the Bangor Road in Newtownards.

The new homes are to be known as Claremont at River Hill, and will add to the 87 homes released by the local developer in 2015.

However, just last month a report said that the pace of growth in housebuilding in Northern Ireland is the slowest of 12 UK regions at just 17%.

Work was started on 761 new houses in the province from January to March this year.

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