Sale of former army site at Ballykelly offers ‘massive potential’

Aerial shot of the Shackleton site looking over Lough Foyle and towards Donegal.
Aerial shot of the Shackleton site looking over Lough Foyle and towards Donegal.
  • The former military barracks at Shackleton was gifted to the Executive on 7 October 2011 under the Hillsborough Agreement 2010
  • The total Shackleton site area extends to approximately 716 acres
  • A lot being sold to NI Water and a second lot to be sold to DARD for its new headquarters

The sale process for the former army base in Ballykelly has started, a moved the deputy First Minister believes offers “massive potential”.

First Minister Peter Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA welcomed the start of the sale process for Shackleton, the former military base.

First Minister, Peter Robinson said: “This site which was gifted to the Executive under the Hillsborough agreement, presents a unique opportunity for investors to maximise the site’s potential. We want the development of the site to bring jobs and real benefit to the local community.

“This site is a significant asset and we must through this sale maximise the benefits so it can deliver not just to Ballykelly but all the people of the North West.”

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “The Shackleton site is one of massive potential. We are determined it will create and sustain jobs in the area and deliver a range of short and long term economic benefits for the people of the North West.

“Potential purchasers of the Shackleton site will need to clearly demonstrate how their plans will not just create jobs but deliver community and environmental benefits. With DARD’s headquarter relocation plans well underway, it is an exciting time for Ballykelly and the North West.”

Lambert Smith Hampton is marketing the site on behalf of OFMDFM.

The 716-acre site includes a range of buildings comprising offices, accommodation blocks, workshop/storage buildings, and a number of hangars. The largest building, a former aircraft hangar, extends to approximately 117,920 sq ft (10,955 sq m) of single span accommodation and is Grade B+ listed. OFMDFM intends to sell approximately 85.8 acres of the Site to NI Water to develop an Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICW) to replace the waste water treatment works that currently deals with waste from Ballykelly village.

OFMdFM say 621.5 acres is the subject of this sale process.

In June 2014 the Executive approved a proposal to relocate the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) headquarters from the Stormont Estate to Shackleton. It is intended that approximately 8.7 acres of the former top camp will be used to develop the new headquarters building for DARD. DARD has submitted a planning application in April 2015 for its new headquarters building. The relocation of staff is expected to be phased with approximately 350 staff taking up position in 2017 with up to 350 more expected to relocate after Phase 2 of the construction when it is completed in 2020.