Multi-million pound social housing scheme planned at Banbridge seed factory site – Armagh I

A multi-million pound social housing scheme is being considered for the site of the former Germinal seed factory in Banbridge.

The development – listed as a ‘major’ planning request – would see the construction of a total of 60 units.

This would take the form of a single block of flats – 24 units in total – as well as 36 houses. These would include a mix of detached and semi-detached houses and would span the entire 0.87 hectare site.

Pre-application consultation has already been carried out on the proposed development at Commercial Road.

And this has now led to a full planning permission application being drawn up by Belnew Developments Ltd.

The applicant works with the Ardbour Housing Association to provide social housing. And according to a planning statement, NIHE is supporting the delivery of social housing to the site.

The address of the reserved site – which is opposite the Scarva Street Presbyterian Church, a cemetery and a care home – is 2 Commercial Road, Banbridge.

According to a design and access statement, it is “majorly occupied by the agricultural seed company Germinal.” The company announced last year that it would close and move parts of its operations to Banbridge.

The development site also includes a secluded commercial property at 34 Scarva Road. The latter, which is planned to be demolished, is described as being of “rather recent construction” and “without particular architectural interest”.

It is on the site of this more modern building that the new “well-kept” residence would be built. It will be a three-storey development, to “provide at least two storeys along Scarva Street” and to “repair the streetscape in this prominent location and create a sense of enclosure along this street “.

Neighboring lots along the street have already been cleared and used for “ad hoc parking,” according to the design statement.

All residential properties would be built to ‘homes for life’ standards, with full disabled wheelchair access.

The apartments – in one block – would include 20 two-bedded three-person general needs units, two one-bedroom two-person wheelchair apartments and two two-person, one-bedroom general needs apartments.

The 36 houses would include 29 three-person, two-bedroom semi-detached houses, five five-person, two-bedroom semi-detached houses and two five-person, three-bedroom wheelchair houses.

The application includes 24 parking spaces for apartment residents, as well as bicycles and bicycle storage. The houses have also been provided with parking, except for the houses for two wheelchairs with driveways.

Access would be ‘primarily from the east and west of Meeting House Road and Commercial Road’ for vehicles and pedestrians, with pedestrian access also available to apartments from Scarva Road.

There will also be plantings to “create pleasant garden spaces for residents”, with the apartments featuring plantings of hedges and low shrubs to “create attractive spaces with seasonal variations”.

The program would be designed in conjunction with PSNI Crime Prevention, according to the statement.

It adds: ‘The inclusion of private parking in curtilage as well as off-street private parking for residents of flats that are overlooked by adjacent housing should help deter crime and anti-social behaviour.’

The proposals will now be announced shortly with a decision expected later in the year.

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