Barracks progress welcomed
East Belfast Sinn Féin representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed confirmation by Social Development Minister Alex Attwood that he will instruct the Housing Executive to register its interest in acquiring the former Mountpottinger PSNI barracks site with a view to tackling the housing need in the Short Strand.
South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey had submitted a written question asking the Minister — given the demolition work at the former barracks site is now underway — what plans he had to consult with the local community on the future of the site and whether his Department would seek to acquire the land for social housing.
Mr Attwood responded: “I understand that the site of the former PSNI station at Mountpottinger has not yet been formally declared surplus. The housing need in the area would, however, support the acquisition of the sit and if it becomes available I will instruct the Housing Executive to register our interest in acquiring it.”
Mr Ó Donnghaile said: “I have no doubt this news will be welcomed by those growing numbers of people in this part of the city languishing on the housing waiting list waiting to set up home with their families in the area they were born and reared and we in Sinn Féin and the local community look forward to working with the Minister in relation to this issue in the future”.
At the end of October, a delegation from the Short Strand protested at a Belfast City Council Town Planning Committee meeting about plans for 32 private, high-rise apartments on vacant land, also on the Mountpottinger Road.