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Belvoir development a world away from hustle and bustle of city

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 17/04/2015

Once home to the bishop of Down and the site of Belfast's first municipal hospital, Belvoir Park is now a property owner's dream.

The development comprises 300 Edwardian-inspired homes set in one of the city's most desirable locations.

Although just four miles from central Belfast, the sprawling 64-acre site is a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The sales brochure proclaims it as one of the most sought-after locations in Northern Ireland.

"Belvoir Park is a beautiful combination of incredible architectural heritage and idyllic countryside living you simply won't find anywhere else in Northern Ireland," it states.

It is the biggest development in the Greater Belfast area in the last eight years.

Featuring 34 acres of parkland, the site comprises 300 houses, including listed buildings which have been restored.

The site has a long history and was the one-time residence of Lord Dungannon, the Bishop of Down and the Batt family.

The last private tenant at Belvoir was Sir James Johnston, the Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1917-18.

Belvoir Park Hospital, which opened in 1906, was originally known as Purdysburn Fever Hospital and later Montgomery House.

It closed in 2006 following the opening of a new cancer centre at Belfast City Hospital.

A number of large hospital blocks and buildings remain on the site, and several of them are listed.

The site went on the market in April 2013, and last June it emerged a sale had been agreed.

It was bought by the Neptune Group, a residential and mixed-use property development and investment company.

Established in 2001 by directors Patrick Heffron and Creighton Boyd, most of its developments are located in London and Northern Ireland.

Mr Boyd said: "Our vision is to create a breathtaking living space that respects, protects and enhances its natural and build heritage and most importantly provides a wonderful place for residents to enjoy for generations."

Yesterday's release of the first 27 homes represents less than a tenth of the 300 homes planned.

The next phase is expected to go on the market within four months.

Prices start from £245,000, which buys a 1,345sq ft three-bedroom semi-detached home.

The dearest in the first phase is a 2,172sq ft four-bedroom detached property priced at £410,000.

The sales brochure states: "The proposed town houses have been designed as a series of open-plan spaces for living and reception areas with generous bedrooms above. These spaces will retain the grandeur and proportion of the original buildings."

Preparation work has started on the site, and building work will commence shortly.

Simon Brien, the agent for the development, said the first houses should be completed around the turn of the year.

"All the preparation work is done, the old buildings which were to be demolished have gone," he said.

"The new-build development area, where phase one is, has been prepared, ready for the house-building to actually start.

"It will be the end of this year or start of next year for first completions."

Belfast Telegraph

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