The transformation of Templemore Avenue has received another boost with the news that Belfast City Council has sold the old toilet block site to the charity Habitat for Humanity for affordable housing.
The development will further add to the positive changes in the street with the development of the old primary school into a community resource centre by East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA).
Habitat for Humanity is believed to have plans to build six, three bedroom townhouses on the site.
The September meeting of the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources committee approved the sale for £120,000 — having decided it was surplus to requirements two years ago — and the decision was rubber-stamped by the full council this Monday (October 4).
Among those to welcome the move is Councillor Gavin Robinson, who said: “Having worked with and supported Habitat for Humanity’s plan to buy the former Public Convenience site in Templemore Avenue for over six months, I am delighted that terms have been agreed and Habitat for Humanity have yet another site for the provision of affordable housing in East Belfast.
“Habitat’s record of providing high quality, affordable homeownership opportunities that contribute to the sustainability, continued regeneration and visual improvement of an area is unrivalled.”
Cllr Robinson continued: “One obvious example is the Madrid Street site that is almost complete.
“Habitat were over-subscribed in Madrid Street with applications from low income families, with local connections who were prepared to commit over 300 hours in the construction of their own home.
“The sale of the former toilet site should be been as another small step along a great road for Templemore Avenue.
“EBCDA have exciting plans for the old Primary School; and the vacant hospital site, the former Ballymacarrett Library and Tower Street BMC site offer the possibility of continued investment and regeneration in the heart of East Belfast.
“At a time when public funds are increasingly limited, it is both positive and encouraging that continued regeneration is taking place. “
Habitat for Humanity declined to comment.