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Keady convent for sale weeks after plans approved to demolish and build new houses

Offers in the region of £1.1 million are sought, with the former St Clare's Convent and surrounding lands marketed as a 'fully approved residential site in a highly sought after location'

St Clare's Convent in Keady
St Clare's Convent in Keady

The former St Clare’s Convent in Keady is up for sale – just weeks after plans were approved to demolish it and build new houses.

An application for housing was first revealed by Armagh I in February of last year.

And after much consideration, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council gave the thumbs-up to the proposals at its planning meeting in September.

The application – for the expansive site at Madden Row – was given the go-ahead despite a number of objections.

The application had been amended slightly from original plans; the number of new houses planned has been reduced by one, from 30 to 29.

The proposals had come forward in the name of the Trustees of St Clare’s Convent.

They have been seeking permission for the “demolition of the vacant convent building and erection of 29 residential dwellings, provision of hard and soft landscaping including communal amenity space, provision of in curtilage car parking spaces, and all associated site works”.

The site is on “lands at and the south east of 42 Madden Row, Keady”.

The land includes the area occupied by the former convent and a greenfield side next to it.

Eighteen of the houses were approved for the disused convent site and were to have opened out on to a central green space. The lower part consisted of 12 properties to be served by their own access onto Madden Row.

A supporting statement said the site was “located in a highly accessible location within walking distance of Keady town centre and a neighbouring primary and secondary school”.

There were “several areas of open space in close proximity to the site including a Gaelic football playing field and a soccer pitch within 60 metres of the site”.

The proposals approved had included planting throughout the site and to the boundaries to “enhance the overall character and quality of the space”.

A design and access statement said the proposals would deliver a “high quality development” which would be “suitable for modern living”.

That said, the whole site is now up for sale and it would be up to any buyer to follow through on plans to build housing or submit an application for an alternative use.

Offers are being sought in the region of £1.1 million, with the convent and surrounding lands being marketed as a “fully approved residential site in a highly sought after location”.

The agent tasked with the sale is Shooter Property Services, which has offices in Newry, Banbridge and Lisburn.

The former convent building had been left surplus to requirements after confirmation in 2021 that the Sisters of St Clare would quit the town after a century-and-a-half of service.

Sister Anne Kelly made the sad announcement to the parishioners four days shy of their 150th anniversary, the sisters having been sent to the town on July 20, 1871.

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