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Sirocco site potential can deliver for all - O’Donnell

13 June, 2019 - by Mairead O’Donnell

Sinn Féin East Belfast Representative Mairead O'Donnell has welcomed tonight’s news that Belfast City Council has approved formal planning permission for the “Waterside” development on the former Sirocco site in the Short Strand, stating that it has massive potential and that the site has lay derelict for too long.

Speaking this evening Ms. O'Donnell said:

"Tonight’s announcement is welcome news. Importantly the commitment by a private developer to the provision of social housing on-site is a positive and unprecedented step and comes after extensive engagement between Sinn Féin, community groups and local housing providers.

 "The site formerly occupied by the Sirocco factory has lay empty and derelict for over ten years and has passed through previous ownerships with much promise but unfortunately no delivery.

"It is a site with massive potential to transform this part of the city and deliver investment in jobs, leisure and housing.

"I have been engaging with the Swinford group since they acquired the site in 2016 with the focus being primarily on the delivery of social housing units.

"That engagement has been constructive and while today’s announcement concerns plans for office space, the next phase will focus on residential development including social housing units.

“Inclusive growth is a cornerstone to our Belfast Agenda and we have to ensure we grow our economy in an inclusive way that tackles the inequalities that exist such as housing and low wages and we want to encourage investment that does this.

“I, along with the local community, will continue to engage constructively with the developer to ensure delivery on their commitments." 

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