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Plans unveiled for 200 new homes at Girdwood Barracks

More than 200 new affordable homes will be built on the site of a former military barracks in north Belfast, the Northern Ireland Executive has announced.

Margaret Ritchie, the new leader of the Social Democratic Labour Party, said the Girdwood Barracks project would be part of the “long overdue redevelopment” of the area, which covers 10 ha in a deeply divided part of Belfast.

Speaking at the SDLP’s annual conference in Newcastle, Co Down, Ms Ritchie said: “I have instructed the Housing Executive to appoint a housing association to commence the work to build at least 200 new social homes on the Girdwood site, starting immediately.

“I will continue to seek consensus on the overall plan for the site but the housing will now proceed.

“I also hope that housing on Girdwood will allow us to proceed with the long overdue redevelopment of the adjacent ‘Long Streets’ area of north Belfast.”