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Housing plan to transform Adria site

THE former Adria factory site in Strabane’s Ballycolman Estate is set  to be transformed by a social housing scheme which will bring 162 new  homes to the area.

The development is being spearheaded by Habinteg Housing Association  and has been welcomed by local residents and politicians amid ongoing  concerns of anti-social behaviour and damage in the area.

This week a design contest for the major new residential development  was launched, with the brief to deliver a mix of social, affordable  and market rent homes.

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A feasibility study has already been completed and a spokesperson for  Habinteg Housing said the deadline for applications is January 18, 2019.

“The scheme will deliver 162 new homes across three phases. The  development may also feature commercial units for local start-up  companies, a renewable energy facility, a creche, play-parks and  additional green areas.

“The aim and expectations of Habinteg Housing Association Ulster in  all its developments is to ensure that a high standard of construction  is maintained throughout and specifications are standardised using the  highest quality materials and workmanship standards,” they said.

“Generally, the structural integrity of the buildings shall be  designed to have a minimum of 60 years life. The buildings shall be  designed using low maintenance components and provide a ‘home for  life’ for tenants regardless of change in circumstances.

West Tyrone MLA, Michaela Boyle, said she had been lobbying, along  with MP Órfhlaith Begley and councillor Brian McMahon, the Housing  Executive and other housing associations for sometime on the need for  social housing in Strabane.

“We have had discussions and met with Habinteg management a number of  times over recent months on the Adria development and have fed in  information regarding what is needed in the area,” she said.

“This progress on the site is very welcome news. I would like to  commend Habinteg for their work so far on this project and their  commitment to tackling the social housing crisis in  in Strabane.”

Local residents have welcomed the scheme, which they say cannot come  soon enough due to the incidents of criminal damage and anti-social  behaviour on the site, which has been vacant since 2014.

Brian Kelly said he hoped that the scheme would get underway as soon  as possible.

“There have been about 10 bonfires lit on this site in the past couple  of years and it’s great that something is now finally going to be  done. Hopefully, the new houses will also lead to more shops and other services coming into the area as well.”

Eileen McKay said her house had been regularly used by the fire  service to access water to extinguish fires in the area and that a new  housing scheme would benefit the whole area.

“There was a proposal for high rise flats on this site a few years ago  and obviously that wouldn’t have been acceptable. This new plan looks  like being a lot better,” she said.

“People need new housing and this should help address that issue here  in Strabane as well.”

The old Adria site which will be transformed by the Habinteg  development.       DR84

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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