£5m social housing project completed in NI

The County Down development comprises 32 social housing units, made up of new-build houses, apartments and bungalows.

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Northern Ireland-based construction firm FORRME has recently completed a £5m social housing project at Dromore Street, Banbridge, County Down.

Appointed by Clanmil Housing Association, FORRME has constructed 32 social housing units, made up of a mix of new-build houses, apartments and complex-needs bungalows.

The development is said to have been designed to bring together clever space optimisation while retaining a sense of space and community.

Other key aspects of Dromore Street include:

• Remediation, including a pump and treat system on free phase product
• Extensive demolition and site clearance
• Utility diversions, including 33kVA and fibre optic cables
• Significant contractor-designed elements
• Completion of a brand-new access road
• Integrated parking, retaining walls and substation
• Landscaping and associated works
• Homes constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and Secure by Design standards

Dromore Street forms part of FORRME’s £50m portfolio of social housing projects that are currently underway for Housing Associations across NI and ROI.

The company is also said to have secured a further £25m worth of social housing projects since January 2018, bringing the total value of current and future social housing contracts in at approximately £75m.

Commenting on the project, FORRME’s MD, Mark Currie, said, “We are especially proud of the Dromore Street Housing Development, which has been constructed to Lifetime Homes standard, meaning it is a long-term housing solution that will support the local community for decades to come.

“The project is a regeneration success story, where a heavily contaminated brownfield site was fully remediated to become an attractive housing commodity for a broad range of residents, ranging from families to the elderly and those in need of disabled-friendly amenities.”

According to Jonathan Diffin, FORRME’s Site Manager, working with the local community and wider stakeholders was key to the project’s success.

“At FORMME, we believe that the local community are a valuable resource in the redevelopment process, and we recognise the importance of keeping them informed on site developments and milestones,” he said.

“We also aim to add value to the community through responsible engagement with local charities, schools and communities.”

Recent HomeLet Rental Index figures showed that social housing shortages in Northern Ireland are driving rental costs to rise at a higher rate than anywhere else in the UK.

MD Mark Currie commented: “FORRME is steadfast when it comes to helping address social housing shortages across the region.

“Design and build procurement routes are proving especially effective in this area, mostly due to the significant benefits presented compared to traditional procurement routes.

“Design and build projects save a considerable amount of time by overlapping the design and construction phases.

“By fast-tracking projects in this way, it is possible to meet high demands quickly within tight budgets.”

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