Leading private and social house builder, The Braidwater Group, has today submitted one of the largest residential planning applications ever to be received by Belfast City Council, with plans for an investment of £95m on social and affordable housing on a significant 75 acre site beside the Glen Road in Belfast, known as ‘Glenmona’.
The layout of the Glenmona site in West Belfast.
Braidwater said that its vision for Glenmona is to create a new mixed-use urban village with a variety of social and affordable housing, alongside commercial and community facilities and supported by extensive public transport linkages.
At the heart of the placemaking concept is a tree lined linear corridor, leading to an amenity and retail hub which will allow residents to live, work and play.
Apex Housing Association will be responsible for the management of the completed social rented homes. Affordable housing for sale will also be offered by The Braidwater Group to first time buyers or people who are currently not in home ownership.
The application comprises 656 homes, of which 550 units will be social housing and 106 will be affordable housing. There will be two care homes, a neighbourhood retail centre, a hotel, office and business space and children’s play areas.
Situated in the west of the city, Glenmona is a largely undeveloped parcel of land that enjoys a gentle incline rising from the Glen Road towards the Upper Springfield Road. The site has panoramic views over Belfast and beyond to open countryside including the Mourne Mountains.
The Glenmona master plan.
Headquartered in Eglinton and with developments throughout Northern Ireland, The Braidwater Group has over 40 years’ experience in the building and development industry. The company currently has eight ‘live’ developments with close to 1,000 private and social homes in construction throughout Northern Ireland.
Glenmona cements The Braidwater Group’s presence in Belfast, with further plans to be revealed soon.
Finbarr Grogan, planning and technical director of The Braidwater Group, said:
“This is an exciting step forward for this very large-scale project which we have been working on in pre-planning for over a year. There is high demand for social and affordable housing in this area and we have had a positive engagement process with all key stakeholders, which we believe will result in a scheme that will work for the whole community in West Belfast.
“At this time, it is crucial to try and keep the economy moving forward and we recognise the vast effort of our professional team in finalising a complex planning application remotely during the coronavirus lock down. We are also very pleased and grateful that Belfast City Council and its planning team is able to begin to process this application, among the many other priorities and challenges it is facing at the moment. We are delighted the Council was able to adapt normal working procedures and practices to remotely accept and validate such a major application so quickly in the current environment.
“Our plan is to go straight to build if approval is granted and this quick turnaround will be of particular importance for our local construction sector, which has faced a very difficult few months.
“We have listened to what the community wants from this scheme. There will be a healthy variety of dwelling types and character areas. A new bus service to the site will enhance local linkages along with cycle lanes and trails. The ‘Buy Social’ programme at Glenmona will ensure that job opportunities will be offered to apprentices, long term unemployed, education leavers and professional trainees. We have also focused on sustainability, biodiversity and environmental factors, with plans to retain existing and plant over 10,000 new native species trees, adding to the wooded character that will last into the future.”