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Nuns sell up for £4m

ONE of Belfast's most historic buildings could be demolished after being snapped up for a staggering £4m, it was revealed today.

ONE of Belfast's most historic buildings could be demolished after being snapped up for a staggering £4m, it was revealed today.

It is understood Nazareth House on the Ormeau Road has been bought by a top property developer in a private deal thrashed out last Friday.

Owned by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, an Order of the Catholic Church, it is believed the building will be turned into a series of luxury apartments and town houses.

And it also has emerged the house, constructed in 1876, is not a listed building and faces the prospect of being razed by bulldozers.

However, the solicitors acting for the nuns remained tight-lipped about the sale and did not comment on speculation as to who bought the muchsought after site.

But a property source said today the deal is the talk of the town.

"There is widespread knowledge that Nazareth House has sold for £4m.

"There is a degree of uncertainty as to who has bought it, but as far as I am aware it is definitely a property developer."

But the news has come as a major blow to the Ulster Heritage Architectural Society who tirelessly campaign to preserve historic sites throughout the province.

A spokeswoman today urged any potential developers to keep the historic facade intact.

"The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society is concerned about the fate of the interesting gothic revivalist group of buildings known as Nazareth House.

"It trusts that any future use of the site will involve imaginative ways of reusing these landmark buildings and securing their future.

"The opportunity exists to create a highly distinctive project."

But the building is set for a short reprieve. It will be a number of months before the nuns move out.

Nazareth House was formerly an orphanage and children's home before it was turned into an exclusive nursing home, which will now be moved to the Ravenhill Road.


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