RESIDENTS of a sheltered housing estate in Sandymount run by St Vincent De Paul will be temporarily rehoused when the society demolishes 38 cottages to redevelop the site into apartments and townhouses.
Bethany House, on Gilford Road, was built 30 years ago and currently houses 35 residents over the age of 50. Planning permission was granted earlier this year for the society to demolish the cottages and construct a three-storey apartment complex and seven three-bed townhouses.
Once built, the apartment complex will house the current residents of Bethany House, while the seven terraced houses will be a separate commercial entity for the society.
According to a spokesman for the society, the proposed development is at the early stages of design, so “nothing will be done for a while”.
He added: “Alternative accommodation also needs to be found for residents during the 18 months of construction, so there is a bit of time before the first sod is turned.”
However, not everyone is happy with the proposal, with a resident voicing disappointment that the cottages will be demolished rather than upgraded. The resident said: “The majority of the residents are opposed to the move, but our wishes were not consulted.
“For the St Vincent De Paul – a society founded to help the needy – to spend millions knocking down lovely cottages and building an apartment block in their place seems an awful waste of millions which could be spent housing the homeless or assisting mortgage holders who are in danger of losing their homes.”
In response, the spokesman said every avenue, including upgrading the cottages, was considered before a decision was made, but this option was not viable.
He said all residents were consulted and that no objections were made.