Belfast Telegraph

Building work on next phase of old Belfast hospital's transformation to get under way in the summer

The former Belvoir Park Hospital in south Belfast
The former Belvoir Park Hospital in south Belfast

By Caitriona McBride

Developer Neptune Group has said work will start next summer on the latest phase of its work on the former Belvoir Park Hospital, bringing 150 new jobs.

There are two gate lodges included in the next phase. There will also be a project to convert a grade II-listed administration building with a feature clock tower into apartments.

Former nurses' accommodation is also included in the plan, while an old mortuary will be turned into two duplex apartments.

The properties at the south Belfast site will be ready to move into in 2021.

The company said it had no prices yet for the properties.

Neptune Group, which is based in London, has had three launches of new housing on the site of the old cancer hospital since 2017.

According to Neptune Group's website, it has a pipeline of 2,400 residential units in greater Belfast and the Lagan Valley, as well as further holdings on which it plans to build over 1,500 homes.

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Neptune development manager Shane Cooke said the next phase of 79 houses at Belvoir Park - which closed down as a hospital in 2006 - would carefully restore and refurbish original buildings.

Mr Cooke added: "This is the fourth phase of the Belvoir Park development and we think that it is one of the most exciting phases for us.

"It will create around 150 jobs and we have a very skilled team involved in the mixture of building, refurbishment and restoration."

Mr Cooke said the firm had worked closely with the Historical Environment Division of Belfast City Council.

"If somebody came on site and walked around, they would never know it was a hospital," he said.

"We like to think that we have been, and are, very respectful of the site. I have people who come up to me and say their mother or their father was here. We feel the historical significance of the site and are very respectful of it. 

"People always say they are glad to see it being restored rather than see it become a crumbling wreck."

Neptune Group, which also owns the Linen Green Shopping Village in Dungannon, acquired Belvoir Park in 2014.

In previous phases on the site there have been asking prices of £275,000 for two-bedroom townhouses.

However, Mr Cooke said they had not decided on the price point for the new phase yet.

Elsewhere on the site, a three-bedroom home with an asking price of £395,000 is marked as sold.

Mr Cooke said carrying out the redevelopment was a painstaking process.

"It was a very detailed process we had to go through with development. The fourth phase, we feel, has a great mix of managing the new and old," he added.

"The Historical Environment Division were happy with our methods of restoration.

"The attention to detail with listed buildings can be time-consuming, but it is integral.

"There are some unique aspects to the properties because they are historic buildings.

"For example, in some there are 3.8 metre-high ceilings. You don't see that much anymore.

"A large number of materials have been reclaimed, such as the windows and the finishings, and that reflects the Edwardian style of development."

The company said it had a track record of spotting potential in areas, citing its interest in locations such as Shoreditch in London "before they became mainstream and fashionable".

Neptune Group has also announced it has won planning permission for developments in Ballyclare, Co Antrim.

It said two major applications had been approved, including a bid for 272 new homes and 13,000 sq ft of retail space.

It also has full planning permission for a relief road from Ollar Valley to the north of the Doagh Road.

An earlier Neptune development, Ollar Valley, is already being built in Ballyclare.

Belfast Telegraph