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Historic Craigowen Lodge in North Down must be restored, says MLA Muir

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Craigowen Lodge

Craigowen Lodge

Craigowen Lodge

A North Down Assembly Member has said an historic gate lodge in the area is being allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

Alliance Party MLA Andrew Muir recently met with the owners of the historic Craigowen Lodge to push for its restoration.

The B1 listed gate lodge sits close to the Seahill junction on the A2 dual carriageway between Cultra and Ballyrobert. Built in 1851, it was designed in Italianate style by Thomas Turner, a pupil of Sir Charles Lanyon.

It has lain abandoned for years after being vested in the 1990s as part of a road-widening scheme on the Bangor to Belfast dual carriageway that never happened. The building currently has a tin roof in place after an arson incident.

The building is presently owned by Clanmill Housing Association after merger of Hearth Housing Association and Clanmil in December 2016.

A Planning Application was submitted, approved and purchase completed in early 2017, with plan to turn the lodge into a three bedroom house. Since the application nothing has materialised, with planning approval now expired.

Andrew Muir said: “Craigowen Lodge is a beautiful building steeped in history but has sadly been left to fall into disrepair, to the extent it’s now boarded up and left languishing on the Built Heritage at Risk Register.

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“I was delighted when Hearth Housing Association intervened back in 2011 to express an interest in acquiring the building, with a view to restoration.

“I have been in regular and sustained contact with Clanmill to discuss barriers to progress and lobbied both the Housing Executive and Department for Communities to give much needed grant assistance — all to no avail.

“It’s little wonder listed buildings are allowed to fall into ruin with the current lacklustre response from government in Northern Ireland. Often it seems we only care about our built environment when beautiful structures from our past are either in imminent peril of collapse or lost forever.”

He added: “My recent meeting with Clanmill Housing has however left me more encouraged that action to get the building restored to a beautiful home may be on the horizon.

“I will also keep pushing both the Communities and Finance Ministers to release more funding to save this and other historic buildings across Northern Ireland which risk being lost forever.”


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