Clanmil Housing’s Ardilea Close family housing scheme in Downpatrick has scooped a top prize at annual awards organised by the Northern Ireland Housing Council, a statutory body set up to advise on housing policy in Northern Ireland.
The Housing Council Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of people and organisations who have excelled in delivering effective, efficient, quality housing.
Ardilea Close at the back of the Flying Horse Estate took first place in the Special Award which is presented each year to the best housing association scheme constructed within the past three years.
The scheme, which was completed by Clanmil in October 2011, provides 13 houses and six apartments all of which have been built to high energy efficiency levels, with double glazed windows designed to maximise natural light and highly rated insulation fitted as standard. The houses also have solar roof panels fitted to assist water heating.
The award recognises Clanmil’s success in developing a difficult hill top site and in delivering homes to a very high environmental standard, making them up to 40% more energy efficient than standard houses and considerably cheaper for tenants to run.
Downpatrick Councillor Colin McGrath said: “I welcome this award as it recognises the high standard of design and development that Housing Associations are using in the houses they build in our area.
“This project has seen a vacant field in the Flying Horse area of our town being transformed into modern, comfortable and eco-friendly family homes in an area where they are needed. I congratulate Clanmill on this achievement and look forward to many more schemes from them reaching similar standards and best of all delivering top class homes for the people of Downpatrick”
Also, Downpatrick Councillor Liam Johnston applauded the award and said: “I am delighted that this scheme has won this top prize from the Northern Ireland Housing Council. There is a demand for top quality housing in our area and this scheme certainly has made an impact in setting high standards.
“This is a project that myself and the Flying Horse Ward Community Forum have been working on for many years with Clanmill. It is great that Ardilea Close has won this award, not just for the FlyingHorse or Downpatrick, but for the District as a whole. This is a fine example of what can be achieved in working in partnership within the community.”
Clare McCarty, Clanmil’s Chief Executive, said: “We are very proud of the homes we provide at Ardilea Close. This was a difficult site to develop and everyone involved in the scheme’s design and construction went that extra mile to make it happen.
“Our tenants are now well settled at Ardilea Close and I would like to thank them for helping to make this scheme such a success. We are also very grateful to local community and political representatives who worked with us to deliver this development, and who continue to support us in promoting a good neighbourhood at the scheme.”