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Belfast City Council Grants Planning Approval for £4 Million Allotment Sanctuary in West Belfast

Conway Group Healthcare’s Glenriver Sanctuary has received the green light from Belfast City Council, marking a significant milestone in enhancing the lives of young adults with varying needs in the west of the city.

Conway Group Healthcare, known for owning Kilwee Care Home and Brooklands Care Home in Cloona Park, West Belfast, is set to create an innovative allotment facility with a supporting building designed to provide essential day opportunities and support for vulnerable individuals, including those living with learning challenges and autism.

Located on the Glenriver Lands off Stewartstown Road, adjacent to Cloona Park in Dunmurry, the project has been strategically chosen for its tranquil location within a built-up suburban area. This multi-million-pound investment is scheduled to commence construction in 2024, generating over 50 jobs during the construction phase and sustaining approximately 40 full-time positions upon completion.

Victoria Humphries, Regional Operations Officer at Conway Group, expressed delight, stating,

“We are delighted that following planning approval, the Glenriver Sanctuary can now become the first facility of its kind in Belfast, dedicated to supporting young adults with complex needs, such as learning disabilities and autism. Our goal is to develop a state-of-the-art, inclusive space that provides a therapeutic and welcoming environment for those who need it the most. The development includes a modest, single-storey support building providing essential amenities such as living space, a sensory room, a family/activity room, a kitchen, and toilets, all designed to preserve the surrounding area’s character.”

The substantial investment reflects the Conway Group’s commitment to delivering high-quality developments that focus on improving the lives of individuals with specific needs. The facility will feature a reimagined allotment space, including a purpose-built sensory garden for outdoor activities like gardening and horticulture. On days with adverse weather conditions, the support building will provide indoor spaces for users to stay dry and warm, enjoy meals, and access refreshments and restroom facilities. A specially designed sensory room will offer a non-threatening environment for young adults to explore at their leisure, particularly when experiencing sensory difficulties.

The initiative aims to reclaim overgrown, underused open space in a built-up area of West Belfast, offering an inclusive, safe space for much-needed day respite. The facility, operating as an enclosed sanctuary for a specific sector of the population, will not function as a commercial business.

Conway Group Healthcare is committed to creating a layout sensitive to the surrounding residential area, implementing high-level landscaping to screen the facility from public view, ensuring seamless integration into the residential neighbourhood.

Headquartered in Magherafelt, the Conway Group is a privately owned group of companies specialising in property development, investment, asset management, construction, healthcare, and wind energy, with an impressive track record in the delivery of high-quality projects.

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