Braidwater Group’s Glenmona site on the Glen Road in Belfast was a hive of activity recently as the first families collected the keys to their new homes.

Harry Dyer, Apex Housing Officer, far left, along with Ryan Tannahill of the Braidwater Group, handing over the keys to the Smith family.

Glenmona – one of the largest housing developments in Northern Ireland, is a new mixed-use urban village developed by Apex Housing Association (Apex) under the guidance of leading house builder BW Social Affordable Housing, which is part of the Braidwater Group.

Work first commenced on the site early in 2021 and the development will mature with over 650 social dwellings on the 75-acre site in the west of Belfast.

Along with the homes, the development will also comprise a community centre with MUGA (multi-use games area) pitch, two care homes, a neighbourhood retail centre, a hotel and a number of children’s play areas.

David Connolly, Apex Housing Officer, on left and Ryan Tannahill of the Braidwater Group, handing over the keys to new homeowner Jessica Daly.

Glenmona is a largely undeveloped parcel of land that rises from the Glen Road towards the Upper Springfield Road and the site also boasts panoramic views over the magnificent city of Belfast and beyond to open countryside including the superb picturesque backdrop of the Mourne Mountains.

Headquartered in Eglinton and with developments throughout Northern Ireland, The Braidwater Group has close to 50 years’ experience in the building and development industry, and speaking this week, Ryan Boyle, Chief Operating Officer said: 

‘The Braidwater Group is delighted to hand over the first of the new homes to Apex Housing Association, which represents another milestone for the development and over the coming months, a significant number of new handovers will progress.’

‘Our project at Glenmona is providing hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for the local construction industry and the ‘Buy Social’ programme at Glenmona will ensure that job opportunities will be offered to apprentices, long-term unemployed, education leavers and professional trainees. We have also focused on sustainability, biodiversity and environmental factors, with plans to retain existing as well as planting over 10,000 new native species trees, adding to the wooded character that will last into the future.’

Georgia McDermott receiving the keys to her new home from Gareth Gamble of the Braidwater Group (left) and Harry Dyer, Apex Housing Officer.

With the help of pupils from St Teresa’s Primary School in Belfast, ‘Black Ridge’ has now been agreed as the street name for the first phase of the new development.  The name was chosen as a nod to Divis, a hill and area of extensive moorland north of the development.  Divis stems from the Irish word ‘Dubhais’ meaning black ridge.  

Barry Kerr, Apex’s Director of Development, commented:
“We were thrilled to hand over the keys to the very first properties in the substantial Glenmona development recently and wish our tenants all the best in their new homes.  We remain committed to delivering a large housebuilding programme and currently have 1,690 homes in construction across 13 locations in Northern Ireland.  With more than 45,000 people on the social housing waiting list, it’s clear that successfully delivering large-scale developments like this one is more important than ever.”

The £102m Glenmona development has been supported by £52.4million Housing Association Grant funding from the Department for Communities and £49.4million private finance investment by Apex Housing Association. 

The new homes at Black Ridge, Glenmona.