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Ó Donnghaile welcomes DSD commitment to housing on Mountpottinger site

10 June, 2010

Sinn Féin Pottinger representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed the news that DSD have now committed themselves to seeking to develop social housing on the site of the former Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks.

Speaking this evening Mr Ó Donnghaile said;

“Very soon after his appointment as the new Social Development Minister I wrote to Alex Attwood urging him to urgently acquire the Mountpottinger Barracks site for the development of much needed social homes. I am glad to say that on this occasion the response from the DSD has gone further than Mr Attwood’s predecessor ever would in relation developing housing on this site.

The argument around the retention of Mountpottinger has been had and it has been won. The astronomical cost to retain it was simply too much for the taxpayer to bear and the base was redundant in terms of modern, effective and community orientated policing in east Belfast. It's retention was simply unjustifiable.

DSD have finally recognised, and I quote directly from their letter, “the potential of the site in question for the development of social housing”.  The letter also states; “indeed, once it becomes available we will be asking the Housing Executive to formally consider its acquisition.”

I have no doubt this news will be welcomed by those growing numbers of people in this part of the city languishing on the housing waiting list waiting to set up home with their families in the area they were born and reared.

I recognise that at this stage that nothing is definite, however I look forward to working with the new Minister and his department in the time ahead to ensure that this site is utilised to the maximum for the benefit of the people who have had to live in its shadow for so long.” CRÍOCH

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