PARISHIONERS at Holy Family in North Belfast have voted in favour of a proposal on the demolition of the closed Church of the Resurrection and the future of the former parochial house and parish centre.

In December, the parish revealed they had received an offer from Radius Housing to purchase all three buildings on the Cavehill Road. Following a survey, 70 per cent of parishioners voted in favour of the sale with 30 per cent against.

Church of the Resurrection on the Cavehill Road first opened in 1980 and served as a focal point for Catholic families in the homes around the Upper Cavehill area. In 2008 the Church, following consultation, was permanently closed due to continuing leakage from the roof, with the cost of repair beyond the resources of the parish at the time, with debts estimated at around £2 million.

Following the survey, Holy Family Parish say they recognise concerns from local residents who will be consulted on any future plans.

"It was a decisive result with a significant majority of those who responded in favour of the proposal," the parish said in Sunday's bulletin. "It was also clear from the responses by those who were not in favour of the proposal that residents have understandable concerns about the nature of the development that Radius might propose for the site.

"By way of offering some reassurance, Radius, who already have a presence in the parish – operating the Fortwilliam Fold on Fortwilliam Park – will be keen to engage with residents and to listen.

"Residents will have opportunities to shape what will eventually be developed on the Cavehill Road site.

"Residents will also be in a position to shape the final development that emerges through the normal planning procedures process.

"One other area of concern that was expressed in responses received was regarding the scouts and what will happen to the unit with no parish centre. The scouts have made and continue to make a huge contribution to the lives of many and to the parish.

"As a parish community, we will work with the scout leaders to try and find alternative accommodation to ensure that the unit continues to thrive."