Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Site will not be sold off to the highest bidder

Published: 20 October, 2014

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that the former MoD site at Grosvenor barracks in Enniskillen, which is a 17·2 acre site, with plans for 200 houses, and will transfer to the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council from 1 April 2015, will be used for social housing and will not be sold off to the highest bidder.

Mr Flanagan was speaking after he raised the issue with the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan MLA in Stormont this week.

Mr Flanagan said:

"Some time ago, I established that this site, which has been earmarked for social houses for a number of years, and which are badly needed, was to transfer out of the Department of Social Development, which has responsibility for social housing and transferring to the new council.

"I am fearful that the out working of this transfer will be that the site will be sold off to the highest bidder and not used for this purpose.

"The most recent figures indicate that there are over 800 individuals and families on the waiting list for a home in Fermanagh, with nearly 300 of these in housing stress.

"This site, if developed for social housing, could have a major impact on reducing these figures but also in stimulating the local construction sector, which has suffered greatly in recent years.

"Many of our local contractors are now doing most of their work in Belfast, Dublin or the south of England as there is so little construction work in Fermanagh at the minute. And as we all know, a huge proportion of our young people have been forced to emigrate in search of employment all over the world due to the lack of job opportunities in Fermanagh.

"It would therefore be wholly unacceptable if this site were to be sold off to the highest bidder instead of being used to house those in greatest need and to create much needed employment for local people.

"I have raised my concerns on this matter with the Chief Executive of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and my colleagues on the council intend to follow this up in the coming period to ensure this site is used for the purposes intended and not for private housing." ENDS