Baylough social housing project is 'essentially complete'

A housing scheme on the former Ward's pub site in Baylough, Athlone is “essentially complete”, a recent council meeting heard.

The news emerged following a query from Cllr Frankie Keena in relation to the 19-unit scheme which will come into the ownership of Westmeath County Council once it is finished.

The homes, located on the Galway Road, are being delivered through a turnkey development, and the local authority will have full ownership of them on completion.

“Baylough is essentially complete,” Mark Keaveney, the council's director of services in housing explained at a recent local authority meeting, with just snagging and legal works to be finalised.

The Fianna Fáil councillor understands that the homes will be allocated soon.

He also sought an update on the progress of a construction project at Blackberry Lane and others before going on to enquire about plans to build affordable houses locally.

A further Athlone query was raised by Independent Cllr Paul Hogan, who asked for an update on the provision of 55 units on the grounds of the Marist College.

On Blackberry Lane, Mr Keaveney replied to Cllr Keena that the council has had some discussions with the department in the last few weeks and expects that the project will be advanced “fairly shortly”.

Responding to Cllr Hogan’s query on the Marist College project, he said that the Approved Housing Body (AHB) Tuath was at an advanced stage in relation to preparation of the planning application.

In June of last year Tuath welcomed approval in principle from the Department of Housing for its plans to redevelop part of the old Hermitage site in the grounds of the Marist College, Athlone, at an estimated cost of €15.7m.

The 55-unit housing project is described as a “compatible living apartment scheme”, aimed at elderly residents or those with similar needs.

What’s planned is twelve one-bed and 16 two-bed units in the existing four-storey building, along with 27 two-bed units in a new three-storey block on-site.

Part of the Hermitage campus of buildings was badly damaged in a fire in 2018.