Belfast Telegraph

Former Northern Ireland school on the market for £450,000

The former St Colman’s Abbey is next to a proposed health hub
The former St Colman’s Abbey is next to a proposed health hub
Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

The site of a former Northern Ireland school has gone on the market for £450,000.

The 29,586 sq ft former home of St Colman's Abbey Primary School on Newry's Courtney Hill has been available since the school amalgamated with St Clare's Convent to become St Clare's Abbey PS in 2015.

Property agent Lambert Smyth Hampton (LSH) said the school building "is in need of refurbishment but represents an excellent redevelopment opportunity and lends itself to a variety of uses subject to planning".

The land neighbouring the school has already been earmarked for a £60m healthcare facility.

The Newry Community Treatment Care Centre has been in the planning process since 2016.

In its first application, O'Hare Developments proposed that land next to the school be used for the development of a community treatment care centre, parking, including an area of decked parking with access from Abbey Way and Courtney Hill.

New buildings will be part of the project.

Lambert Smith Hampton said: "We understand the proposed development involved GPG O'Hare, a Newry-based healthcare consortium, and the promoter is Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

"Facilities like the one proposed are already up and running in Portadown and Banbridge.

"It is understood the investment is proposed to be in the region of £60m.

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"The proposed centre would cover in excess of 13,000 sq m and would serve as a one stop shop health hub," added LSH.

Stuart Draffin, head of agency in Belfast, said the St Colman's site presents many opportunities: "The building may lend itself to a wide range of uses including office, leisure, complementary health care or residential."

The former school is internally finished with plastered and painted walls, wooden and vinyl flooring and fluorescent strip lighting with oil fired central heating.

The proposed centre is designed to be user-friendly and to become a hub for the community housing many different services.

The site is one of many planned around Northern Ireland.

Benmore Group is behind what would be Northern Ireland's biggest health park at the King's Hall in south Belfast, the former site of the Balmoral Show.

St Colman's Abbey Primary School made the headlines earlier this year when its former headmaster, Paul Dunleavey, appeared in court over 41 sexual offences against children during the 1960s and 1970s. The case is ongoing.

Belfast Telegraph