Former army houses go on sale

More than 100 former army houses in a Co. Derry village have been put up for sale.

For Sale signs appeared this week at two sites in Ballykelly - part of the former Shackleton Army Barracks.

The houses - which have become available following the closure of the Shackleton base in April - are expected to fetch in the region of 9 million.

The 103 houses form approximately one quarter of the military buildings available in Ballykelly which has been home to both the British Army and the RAF since World War Two.

A spokesperson for Defence Estates - which handles Ministry of Defence property sales - says that, while such a large number of homes isn’t unusual in Britain, it is uncommon in Northern Ireland.

The former military houses are not being sold to individual buyers but are being sold as two lots - one of 37 officers’ homes and the other of 66 other ranks’ properties.

The former ‘Walworth’ married quarters are located on a 23 acre site and comprise semi-detached and detached properties. Part of the site consists of eight acres of agricutural land.

The former ‘Foyle’ married quarters extends to almost seven acres and consists of detached and semi-detached houses with either three, four or five bedrooms, most of whihc have adjoining garages.

Michael McCafferty, of Osborne King estate agents, says the two site are being offered on a formal tender basis. “It’s very much up to the successful buyer as to what they’ll do with them, of course subject to planning permission” he says.

The tendering process for the properties remains open until January 30 next.