Disused Military Compound Given New Lease of Life

30 September 2015

 A disused military compound in the hills of the Ring of Gullion in Newry has been given a new lease of life by Fold Housing Association with the official launch of a £2.23m social housing development.

Park Urney in Forkhill village is a high-quality new build scheme which consists of 22 properties in total. The development includes 2 and 3 bedroom houses, 2 bedroom apartments and one fully accessible wheelchair bungalow, reflecting the different needs of the families on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) waiting list.

The site, which had been used by the Ministry of Defence for over 30 years, closed down in the late 1990s. In 2007 the Department for Social Development (DSD), on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), produced a master plan for the development of the former base that included social housing, industrial and business units, childcare facilities, community space and sporting and recreational space.

Fold Housing Association purchased a two acres site in March 2012 and the new homes have been delivered in two phases.

Diana Fitzsimons, Chair of Fold Housing Association, said:The launch of our development at Park Urney reflects the continuing transformation of the area as a better, safer and healthier place to live. We have been working alongside the NIHE, DSD, the design team, local politicians and community representatives to improve living conditions and encourage physical, social and community regeneration.

Fold wish to extend thanks to all of the organisations involved for their hard work and dedication in bringing this development to fruition. The modern dwellings reflect the character of the area and we wish the residents every success and happiness in their new homes.

The DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill said: I would like to congratulate Fold Housing Association on completing this outstanding development very quickly and efficiently.The completion of this housing scheme marks a further significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Forkhill site."

Pictured above: Park Urney tenant, Brigid O'Hanlon gives a warm welcome to her new home to Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA and Diana Fitzsimons, Chair Fold Housing Association.

Below: Park Urney tenant, Brigid O'Hanlon, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA and Fold's Chair Diana Fitzsimons with DSD and DARD,  design team, community and political representative who helped bring Park Urney to fruition with Fold Housing Association's Housing and Development teams.

Jermone Burns, DSD, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA, tenant Brigid O'Hanlon, with Fold's John McLean, Chief Executive,Diana Fitzsimons, Chair, Anita Conway, Director of Development and Eileen Patterson, Director of Housing.

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