The disused Railway building has been under the control of Ireland’s ‘bad bank’ NAMA, but could be turned into residential units – with its listed status protected – if the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s Built Heritage specialists give the proposals the go-ahead.
North Down Councillors Larry Thompson and Andrew Muir – who lobbied NAMA and were involved in facilitating the sale to protect the listed site – praised the move and highlighted the valuable role played by the Holywood Conservation Group in securing the future of the site.
Councillor Larry Thompson said:”Cultra Station House is a historic site in our area and one which must be protected. Since discovering its future was under threat I have worked closely with Councillor Andrew Muir and the Holywood Conservation Group to ensure we don’t lose another important piece of our heritage.
“I welcome the news a planning application has now been made, which looks set to protect the building’s listed status and restore the area to its former glory. I hope The Northern Ireland Environment Agency will be able to work with the applicant to ensure the former character of the building is best upheld, while allowing the new plans to progress.
“I must also praise the work of the Holywood Conservation Society. Without their tireless work and campaigning we could not have guaranteed securing a stable future for Cultra Station House. The hours of hard work have been worth it and I want to commend everyone involved.”
Councillor Andrew Muir added: “It is almost a year since the latest condition report on the building was released. At that time it was clear the former station house would need a lot work to restore it to its former glory. While we were aware last August a potential buyer was in talks to progress the site, it was unclear if this would achieve a positive outcome.
“I welcome the news a sale is now within reach. Cultra Station House used to be a hub of activity in the area and it is fitting it will once again be of service to local residents.”