Belfast Telegraph

Beginning of new era for the Village

By Dave Whelan

Thirty-seven new homes in the Village area of south Belfast have been completed in the first phase of a major housing regeneration project.

The new houses are the first of 114 being built by Fold Housing Association to replace demolished and run down buildings.

A second phase of 50 homes is due to complete by December 2013, with a third phase of 27 homes due to start in early 2014.

Opening the new homes Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said that the development was the start of a brighter future for the people of the Village.

"It is an exciting time for the local community, welcoming back many of the residents who used to live here," he said.

"Replacing poor quality housing with bright, modern homes is an important first step in supporting and sustaining this community. A total of 114 new quality homes will be built in the Village across three phases removing dereliction and reversing years of decline in the area."

"This new housing, with a mix of different sizes of housing and apartments, will bring with it an enhanced community profile and vibrancy which means better long term sustainability for the whole area," he said.

A second phase of 50 homes is due to complete by December 2013, with a third phase of 27 homes due to start in early 2014.

"The Village has a well deserved proud reputation and completion of this first phase is testament to the hard work of everyone involved, not least the local community. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for the entire Village area with the areas' revival going from strength to strength as we see further regeneration come to fruition," added the Minister.

Fold's Chief Executive, John McLean said they were also refurbishing and restoring nine existing properties, these are due for completion in January 2014. "After this we will refurbish a further 13 properties, retaining their traditional character whilst providing well designed homes for smaller families and singles."

"Through the collaborative approach with the design team, community, DSD and the NIHE, we managed to reinvigorate this important and historical neighborhood within South Belfast.

Fold's Architects JNP acknowledge the importance of using red brick to retain the character and identity of the neighbourhood.

Fold Housing Association is holding an information evening on Thursday, November 21 at 5-7pm in Richview Regeneration Centre Donegall Road.

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