South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Ó Donnghaile welcomes Margaret Ritchie's social housing commitment for Sirocco site

Published: 16 December, 2008

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed a commitment given by the Department of Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, that she is fully committed to securing 20% of the residential development on the former Sirocco Works site for developing Social and Affordable Housing.

This commitment was given in response to a written question submitted by Party colleague Alex Maskey MLA.

Speaking on the issue Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"This news is to be greatly welcomed and I have no doubt is down to the lobbying being carried out by various groups and agencies. From the moment the old Sirocco Works closed Sinn Féin has been to the fore in campaigning for a degree of Social and Affordable homes to be included in any future development of the site.

"This builds upon the already stated commitment of the Housing Executive that they are also committed to obtaining 20% social housing and is great news for those people lingering on housing waiting lists in the city of Belfast.

"Since the current owners of the site, the Carvill Group, purchased the land, Sinn Fein has been engaging with them in a very positive and forward looking way; they have been very willing to listen to the needs and aspirations of communities throughout Belfast and I am sure that they, as well as the Planning Service, will take the Minister's views into account in developing this promising site.

"Sinn Féin looks forward to continued engagement with all the key stakeholders in the time ahead and have no doubt that Sirocco development will indeed become a great development for the city of Belfast. The fact that the Social Development Minister has stated that she is committed to securing 20% of the residential development of this site for Social and Affordable homes will go some way to benefiting those people, from across Belfast, hoping to set up home and get off the housing waiting list." CRÍOCH