Belfast Telegraph

Braidwater plans for 400 homes in Derry to boost building sector

By Margaret Canning

More than 400 new homes are to be built in Londonderry over the next three years in an investment by a private house builder of over £60m.

And the projects by Braidwater - at Skeoge in the north of the city and at Belt Road - will support over 750 direct and indirect jobs, the Eglinton-based company said.

The company has already started work on the upmarket houses at Birch Hill off Belt Road. Around 30 homes ranging from £149,950 for a bungalow to £179,950 for a four-bed detached have already been built.

In total, 219 homes will be built at Birch Hill and another 200 at Skeoge. All the housing units will be private housing, the company said.

Braidwater said suppliers in the area would provide the materials for the two projects and that around 30 sub-contractors would be employed during building.

Work on the sites is to be finished by 2020 and Braidwater said it represents just one-fifth of the £300m it plans to spend on long-term projects in the north west.

Managing director Joe McGinnis said: "We plan to offer homes of distinction, designed to enhance lifestyles by creating places of respite and community.

"We are planning communities while responding to existing neighbourhoods and connecting these through crafted open spaces.

"For every £1 spent in construction £2.84 will be generated in the local economy.

"This will support a strong local supply chain maintained and grown since the recession, alongside the trickle-down economic effect for services, suppliers, etc generated through local spending when new homes are occupied."

He said that there would be "significant benefits" to the economy, many of which would be led by the developer.

The benefits included contributions to roads improvements, public transport, play parks, neighbourhood centres and landscape maintenance.

Mr McGinnis added: "This will give the ability for the district to maintain a competitive and affordable housing market in the long-term, providing communities and economic activity that will leave a lasting legacy."

John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation, said the news was a boost to housing in Derry.

He said a surge in housebuilding over the last few years had been largely enjoyed by the east of the province, adding: "Up until now, the numbers of housebuilders building more than 100 new homes a year has been falling dramatically but now we are seeing a welcome increase in companies who are building large numbers of units of housing."

Paul Gosling, a commentator on the economy and business in the north west, said the developments were good news for the region.

But he said the city of Londonderry had been lacking in other commercial, large-scale property development.

Belfast Telegraph