Belfast Telegraph

Fold Housing set to build 400 homes as part of £40m investment

By John Mulgrew

Approximately 400 new homes will be built across Northern Ireland as part of a huge £40m investment by Fold Housing Association.

The company said it planned to develop the properties at 10 different sites.

It added that as many as 500 construction jobs could be created in the process.

Work has already begun on several developments, including the former Visteon site in west Belfast.

That £25m project will see 244 new private and social homes completed in the near future.

Marking the business's 40th year in operation, John McLean, chief executive of Fold Housing Association, praised the efforts of all its workers.

"The achievements of Fold have been possible through the dedication, hard work and innovation of staff and board members, past and present," he said.

"(They have worked) in tandem with business partners to provide the very best in housing, care and support."

The social enterprise, which has a turnover of approximately £40m, employs more than 850 people in some 60 towns across Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, plans are also progressing for 400 new homes in Antrim as part of a £60m development.

Antrim Construction Company's Belmont Hall proposals will go on show at the Junction One outlet park tomorrow.

The land at Belmont Road has been zoned and awaiting development for some time.

The proposals include 400 homes being built over the next 10 to 15 years.

David Magee, director of Antrim Construction Company, welcomed the development.

"The plans include 353 houses, 47 apartments and a civic hub with space for shops and a creche," he explained.

"As part of our planning application, we have undertaken an extensive environmental impact assessment."

According to the company, the £60m proposal will create 50 jobs over the next 10 years.

The announcement of 800 new homes from the two projects follows a slight fall in new home registrations during the first quarter of this year.

Work started on 721 new homes during the quarter from February to April - down from 762 the year before, according to the National House Building Council.

But in 2015, there was a 30% increase in registered new homes in Northern Ireland, from 2,487 to 3,223.

Belfast Telegraph