Work to begin in September on new supported living facility

WORK to redevelop a property in Strabane and transform it into a £2m independent living development for people with a learning disability is due to begin in the coming months.

Unveiled in 2018, the project will see the property known as the 'Gentleman's Residence' on the Curlyhill Road redeveloped to provide new supported living accommodation.

The facility is being delivered by Mencap Northern Ireland in partnership with Golden Lane Housing and the Western Health and Social Care Trust and will provide housing on a long-term and short break respite basis.

Strabane Sinn Féin councillor, Michaela Boyle said that in an update on the project this week, she received confirmation that work is expected to begin in September.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), she said: "I am delighted to report that following discussions this week with Mencap and Golden Lane Housing, that their design team is working on the finalised plans and their hope is to start work on site in September once the nesting season is over.

"These plans will transform the old Gentleman's Residence on the Curlyhill Road into supported living housing for those with a learning disability.

"There will also be short break facilities amongst other services."

Ms Boyle said contractors have also been on site to secure it following reports that it is being used by young people to congregate and 'hang out'.

"They are currently obtaining quotes for securing the property with steel fittings on doors and windows to ensure there will be no access for locals to enter the house before they start working on the site.

"This is protect the property and the individuals who have taken to using it as a 'hang out' location," councillor Boyle added.

When the plans were unveiled over two years ago, Mencap said the facility will offer a mix of shared and single person supported living apartments, bungalows and houses based in a well-established site with natural green spaces where tenants can enjoy the stunning outdoors from their own home.

The charity added that its vision is that the new accommodation will offer a mix of “attractive, spacious, and accessible housing and short break accommodation that will make the most of its garden and woodland surroundings”.

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