Developers sitting on land which could build 3,600 homes in Cookstown

New homes
New homes

Developers and landowners are sitting on 195 hectares of brownfield sites in Cookstown, enough to build 3641 homes.

There has been a dramatic decline in new houses built in the Cookstown District after the crash of the property market and the introduction of planning regulation PPS 14, which effectively banned new homes in rural areas.

Housing waiting lists have subsequently grown with the shortage of affordable housing in the town.

However, the latest figures show that most of the land with planning permission in the town is yet to be built upon.

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone said the figures represent a missed opportunity to meet housing needs in the town and to boost the Mid Ulster construction industry.

“The SDLP has repeatedly called for the identification and development of sites in Cookstown to be a higher priority for those involved in the provision of social housing”, he said.

Sinn Fein Councillor Cathal Mallaghan said: “We can’t ignore the fact that there are over 300 people currently on the housing waiting list.

Good quality, affordable housing is central to ensuring that we can grow a sustainable population across our district and is certainly an issue which will be on the agenda when Mid Ulster District Council becomes responsible for Planning from April 2015.” Give us your thoughts. Log on to www.midulstermail.co.uk.