Contractor selected to start centre work

Contractor selected to start centre work

7 March 2018

A CONTRACTOR has been appointed to build Saintfield’s new community and indoor sports facility.

The confirmation comes just weeks after formal planning permission to redevelop a former industrial warehouse at the Belfast Road in the town to provide an ultra-modern facility was secured.

The scheme — which includes a new outdoor play area — has been driven by the Saintfield Development Association and the local authority, with hopes high that construction work can possibly start in the summer.

There are three buildings at the site where parking will be provided for 100 vehicles with the proposed development featuring extensive internal and external work.

The largest of the three buildings will house an indoor synthetic pitch, changing facilities and toilets, with council officials confident the layout will meet the needs of a range of sports clubs.

One of the other buildings will house a main hall, studio area, meeting room, toilets and a large entrance/foyer area with glazing to provide attractive views over the neighbouring mill pond and surrounding area. 

Extensive site works are planned as part of the new development including changes to the main entrance, including the provision of a new filter lane. Overgrown vegetation will be removed, with new fencing, gates and footpaths provided, alongside new planting and landscaping, external seating and lighting.

Confirmation that the contractor has been appointed came at Monday night’s monthly meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down Council and was welcomed by Rowallane area councillor Robert Burgess.

“With planning permission in place and the contractor on board residents in Saintfield and the surrounding area will be keen to see work starting on this project,” he said.

“A lot of people have invested a lot of time and energy into this project, not least the Saintfield Development Association which deserves great credit for getting the new centre over the line, with the help of local council officials.”

Cllr Burgess said the new centre had the overwhelming support of the people of Saintfield who, he continued, were resolute in their backing for the project since it was first unveiled several years ago.

He added: “The centre can be used by a variety of community and sports groups and will be a major asset for a town which has been starved of public sector investment for decades. 

“Work has also started to provide a new synthetic sports pitch at The Demesne in the town which will be widely used and is another important asset for Saintfield.”