Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Wednesday 21 April 2021 7:06

By Donal McMahon

OVER 120 jobs are set to be generated in a new £12m housing development on the former site of St Clare's PS Convent.

The proposed homes by Clonrose Developments Ltd will witness a complete remodelling of the primary school with a design to be in keeping with the surrounding site context, and ensure sensitivity to the listed Grade B2 building and its setting.

The plans are currently with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) who told the Democrat, upon a media query, that it would need to consider with the relevant agencies if an archaeological site search and survey would need to be carried out, much in the same way as Marian Vale mother and baby home, on the private burial site on the lands of St Clare's owned by the nuns.

The Democrat contacted the planning consultants of the site, 'TSA Planning' to speak on the development, but no comments were forthcoming.

A total of 76 houses are proposed to be accessed from this existing entrance along High Street, and an additional 14 apartments proposed will be accessed from the convent building main entrance along High Street also.

Following the permitted removal and restoration of the altar to St Patrick’s Church Eglish, the listed chapel is to be restored and converted into a community hub.

The intention is to celebrate and make use of the listed chapel’s double height ceilings, and a number of design examples are included for illustrative purposes:

The restoration of the convent building and delivery of ‘St Clare’s Wood’ will provide a total of 90 high quality social and affordable homes in a variety of types and sizes to accommodate a range of families and older people.

The planned development of the land is one that will regenerate a currently derelict school site and bring a listed building back into a viable use.

The environmental aspect of the area will also be given a boost with the retention of trees and a provision landscaped open areas.

Traffic in the location will also be taken into account with improvements to the road junction of High Street and Abbey Way.

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