A Northern Ireland council is set to “prioritise” social housing development as a major investment to create new affordable homes into the next decade.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) passed a motion to secure consultation with councillors on its residential plans for the next 15 years.
The enterprise, regeneration and tourism committee supported the proposal that will see new housing feature heavily in the district alongside multi-million pound construction of a new theatre and public park.
Downpatrick councillor, Oonagh Hanlon (SF) said: “I’m delighted that my motion calling on the council to prioritise housing and commit to a housing led regeneration plan passed at committee.
“Everyone should have access to an affordable, secure place to call home.
“NMDDC is responsible for the preparation of a development plan for the district and has commenced work on the Newry Mourne and Down Local Development Plan (LDP).
“The LDP will provide a 15 year plan framework to support economic and social needs in the district, in line with regional strategies and policies, while providing the delivery of sustainable development.
“Local council needs to play a part in the delivery of new homes for people right across the district.
“Working with council as a community planning partner to identify potential development sites, the Housing Executive can overcome barriers and deliver much needed social and affordable homes where they are needed.
“I will continue with my party to lead the way in transforming housing and ensuring that council, Housing Executive and all relevant agencies work to deliver more social and affordable homes right across Newry, Mourne and Down.”
Members of the public are now able to view the council’s LDP online and in person.
A NMDDC spokesperson said: “The purpose of the Local Development Plan (LDP) is to inform the general public, statutory authorities, developers and other interested parties of the policy framework and land use proposals that will guide development decisions within the district up to 2035.
“The LDP timetable and SCI (Statement of Community Involvement) can be viewed or downloaded on the council website.
“Both documents can also be inspected between the hours of 9am- 5pm (Monday to Friday) at the council’s planning offices at O’Hagan House, Monaghan Row, Newry or Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick.”