Councillors have welcomed news that plans to create more than 300 new homes at a former south Belfast hospital have been submitted to the Planning Service.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) aims to sell the Belvoir Park Hospital site “at the best possible value to any individual or property developer” if given planning permission for the redevelopment.
In October 2009 The CT reported that the DHSSPS gave a presentation on its initial concept plans for the hospital site, which has been closed since March 2006, to Castlereagh councillors.
Under the plans Belvoir Park Hospital’s listed buildings will be converted into 110 residential units and 200 new homes will be built.
Castlereagh councillor Sara Duncan said: “I would support the development as long as councillors keep an eye on the housing density and traffic, and I would like to see some kind of co-ownership or social housing introduced there.
“I would just hate that it wasn’t sold and it was left to rack and ruin, and people got in and vandalised the old Victorian buildings.
Castlereagh councillor Rosaleen Hughes added that extra housing would be a boost for the area.
“We do need housing. We never seem to have enough housing for people,” she said.
A DHSSPS spokeswoman said: “Other public bodies were given the opportunity to buy the land through the public sector trawl process in March 2008, however there was no sustainable interest.”