Belfast Telegraph

Building firm set to transform Coleraine ‘ghost estate’ with £5m homes project

Jim Burke, acquisitions and sales director, Hagan Homes and Conor Mallon, site manager, Nollam Contracts
Jim Burke, acquisitions and sales director, Hagan Homes and Conor Mallon, site manager, Nollam Contracts
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

One of Northern Ireland's biggest house builders has started work on the latest phase of a £5m project building new homes in Co Londonderry.

Hagan Homes said it had created 25 jobs as it starts construction of the second phase of its £5m Salmon Leap development in Coleraine.

The second phase will include 14 three-bedroom townhouses and semi-detached homes, with prices starting from £129,950.

Building work is due to be finished by August.

The first phase of the work started in March last year and included 26 new homes and the completion of 14 other houses which had been unfinished.

Hagan Homes said that all the homes in the first phase had now been sold.

The Salmon Leap was best known as a hotel, bar and restaurant. But the venue closed down in 2006.

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The land was to be turned into housing by Pat Devine Homes, but that company stopped work on the site in the property crash, resulting in a so-called ghost estate.

News of Hagan Homes' expansion comes after the latest Northern Ireland construction bulletin said housebuilding activity was up nearly 10% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018.

Jim Burke, acquisitions and sales director, Hagan Homes, said: "The location offers convenient living with everything on your doorstep.

"It is only a short distance from schools, the University of Ulster Coleraine, Riverside Regional shopping centre, Causeway hospital, and a 15-minute drive to the picturesque north coast towns of Portrush and Portstewart."

Hagan Homes recently announced its plans to build 2,000 new homes over the next 10 years, as part of an ambitious £300m development programme for its 30th anniversary celebrations.

Mr Burke added: "Hagan Homes has built over 4,000 homes across Northern Ireland since it was established three decades ago.

"Our success, despite a turbulent operating environment, is an indication that the Hagan Homes offering, in terms of specification of build, is exactly what our customers want."

Speaking about the company's plans for expansion in November, founder and chairman James Hagan said he had "no intention of relying on bank funding".

He said his plan's viability is helped by the relative affordability of sites for building firms, as well as the affordability of homes for buyers.

"We paid off the banks six years ago, and I'm not going down that road again.

"We can do what we want. We're cash-rich at the minute and not paying too much for sites.

"My method in the past has been to build in the middle of housing estates and rundown areas, and it always helps bring the areas up."

Mr Hagan's son Jamesy was formerly the company's managing director. However, last year he set up Seventh Developments after 14 years with Hagan Homes.

The business has started work on 21 new homes at Fort Manor in Dromore.

Belfast Telegraph