Hello and Welcome

Welcome to the virtual community consultation on our proposal to build 98 homes on lands adjacent to Mill Avenue (site of former Wolf Hill Flax Spinning Mill), Ligoneil, Belfast.

In light of the current situation and COVID-19 social distancing measures, new regulations have been introduced to help you provide feedback on our proposals. In line with the new guidance from the Department for Infrastructure, we will be using online tools as well as remote feedback channels to gather your comments on our plans. 

We are currently in the process of carrying out briefings with the local community and are keen to make sure that we have engaged with as many people as possible and sought your feedback. 

Please take some time to browse the information and provide us with your thoughts.

What’s Coming

This proposal seeks to amend the approved planning permission (granted June 2013) to update the housing design in line with current housing requirements and to meet more modern building techniques.

The proposed scheme intends to introduce a mixed tenure housing development, that will design houses to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards, which means they can be adapted to age with the residents and offer a home for life.

This proposal will reduce the total number of houses from the approved 102 units to around 98 units. This will free up space within the site to give more generous garden sizes for family homes, where possible. 

The proposed layout is commensurate with the approved scheme:

The layout includes the same road arrangement, general placement of houses and apartments and the open space distributions as the approved scheme and is largely the same as what is already approved. 

The only substantial change to the layout is the arrangement of the houses in the southern eastern corner as illustrated below.  

This has been modified to a more traditional arrangement rather than having the road and car park to the back of the houses, it now lies to the front of the proposed dwellings. This is considered to offer a more attractive arrangement to address this corner at Mill Avenue.

The house types are similar theme to the approved development, but the design has been modified to meet current housing needs and standards. A sample of the proposed house types can be viewed below.

Site Context

Site Location
The proposal relates to the lands adjacent to Mill Avenue (site of the former Wolf Hill Flax Spinning Mill), Ligoneil, Belfast as illustrated below.

It is located on the northern periphery of north Belfast, within the area of Ligoneil.  

The site extends across some 4.98Ha, situated between Wolfhill Grove to the south and Wolfhill Manor to the north.  Mill Avenue runs through the site and link to Ligoneil Road, an arterial route connecting the area to the city. 

Site Description
The site comprises the former Wolf Hill Flax Mill, which was demolished in the 1970’s.

Image of the former Wolf Hill Flax Mills, photo courtesy of www.belfasthills.org

The site is designated as whiteland in both the Belfast Urban Area Plan and the draft Belfast Metropolitan Plan.  The surrounding lands are zoned for housing and have been subject to planning consent over recent years and have largely been developed.  The Planning Authority have endorsed the suitability of residential development on this land through granting of planning permission in 2013.


Planning History 

Historic Planning Permissions
The site currently benefits from an extant planning permission for some 102 no. units, including a mix of detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, townhouses and apartments with associated access and open space, as detailed in the table below. 

The outline consent granted the principle of residential development and then in 2013 reserved matters approval granted the detailed design. This permission was granted in a similar planning context and endorses the proposed land-use.This planning approval remains valid (as works on the development were started in 2015) and could be built out as approved and provides a strong precedent which will be a material planning consideration for any future application..

Proposed House Types:

The use of red brick and buff brick detailing in the proposed house types responds to the local context and is comparable to the housing in the local area. 

A computer generated image of the proposed development at Ligoneil.

The Apartment Building has been designed to reflect the historical use of the former Wolf Hill Flax Mill and includes a linear building with rows of windows similar to that of the former Mill Building. As per the houses, the apartment will also use red brick reflective of the context and a material synonymous with Belfast mill buildings.  

What Happens Next?

At the end of this Consultation period the applicant, BW Social Affordable Housing intends to submit this planning application. 

The process to submit a new application has already been commenced through the submission of PAN to Belfast City Council on 4th May 2020. A change of house type application is expected to be submitted by end of summer 2020, subject to preparation of the technical information and surveys and feedback from the local community.

The community consultation is now closed, however, if you have any questions, please contact comments@mcepublicrelations.com