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Minister welcomes ‘significant milestone’ in Forkhill military base redevelopment

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the granting of outline planning approval for further development of the former military site in Forkhill in South Armagh.

The granting of outline planning approval for workspace units, community centre, crèche and an all-weather multi sports pitch marks a further significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Forkhill site, under a joint project between the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Department for Social Development (DSD). 

During a visit to the site, Minster O’Neill said: “I very much welcome the granting of the outline planning approval to further develop the former Forkhill military site. This brings us a step closer to the full regeneration of the site in partnership with the Forkhill and District Development Association (FADDA).

“Under a joint project with DSD, my Department secured six acres of this site to provide places for work and recreation to transform a derelict site into an exciting innovative space. When complete, the new facilities will complement the new social housing, the first phase of which has just been completed.

“My officials will continue to provide assistance to FADDA, working in partnership with others, to help ensure delivery of their vision for the village of Forkhill.”

Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Larkin also attended the launch.

He said: “Outline planning permission has been approved for a second phase to this development which will see the construction of workspace units, a community centre, crèche and an all-weather multi sports pitch.

“All of which will enhance the village of Forkhill and will provide essential services to the people of the area.

“Thankfully this site is on its way to being fully redeveloped and for the children who will ultimately attend the new crèche, old photographs will be the only reminder of the military installation which once blighted this village.”

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland also welcomed the news, saying: “DSD has worked in partnership with DARD to progress this project.

“My Department used our land acquisition powers to acquire the site and led on the consultancy. As a result we have now acquired planning permission for a mixed use development which will meet the aspirations of the local community and support community led regeneration in this area.”

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