Work on a new £5million housing development in Armagh city centre is set to begin by early summer after ambitious plans were approved by Council this week.
The diggers will roll into Ogle Street 23 years after much of it was razed to the ground and left derelict ever since.
Planners on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council gave the green light for 70 new units last Wednesday evening – seven long years after the site was acquired by Ogle Street Investments.
The delighted developer, speaking to Armagh I, said the plans were for pre-commencement work to begin in four weeks time.
“We hope to have the diggers in and working by June-July time,” he explained.
“It’ll be four weeks until we get the green form and there are a number of pre-commencement conditions we have to adhere to first before we can start construction.”
The developer admitted the COVID-19 outbreak may put the buffers on those works for a number of weeks.
However, with a long drawn-out process over a number of years behind him, the developer says he is delighted to have reached this stage and looks forward to transforming the historic streetscape.
“I’m delighted to have this across the line and I’m really looking forward to see Ogle Street brought back to its former glory,” he added.
“And that’s the thing, this work will be sympathetic to the previous streetscape, and to what is there now.
“I know there were also a few people sceptical on whether anything would ever be done on the site but the proof is in the pudding.”
The proposals relate to a site listed as 16 to 52 Ogle Street and is for “one retail unit and 70 numbered residential units with in-curtilage car parking and turning area”.
In all it will be constructed in seven blocks, with one of these – Block F – the retail element of the plans.
Block A, which will run along the existing lane to the car park, consists of five three-person, two bedroom townhouses.
It is these and the retail unit which essentially will form a new street, complete with footpath.
Block B will consist of six three-person, two bedroom townhouses to the rear.
Block C is in the central area of the development and will comprise five five-person, three bedroom townhouses.
Block D will be made up of five three-person, two bedroom maisonettes, and four three-person, two bedroom apartments. Block E will have eight three-person, two bed apartments.
Block G will have four three-person, two bed apartments, and three two-person, one bedroom apartments.
Fronting Ogle Street will be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and a townhouse.
There will be access for cars to turn off Ogle Street and on to the laneway linking it and the car park to the rear of EuroSpar.
This will facilitate residents of the new properties to avail of the parking which is included as part of the plans in a central courtyard area.
The developer added: “This will see 70 families move in to the area, which equates to approximately 200 extra people. This development is great news for everybody; the Council and local businesses especially.”
He added: “It was unheard of that a development on this scale would not receive a single objection which shows the appetite people had for transforming this area of the town.”