NEW homes are to be built on the site of a once controversial loyalist bonfire, through a residential-led regeneration scheme. 

Preparation is underway for the physical redevelopment of Adam Street on the Tigers Bay/New Lodge interface.

In July 2021, a loyalist bonfire at the site became the focus of political and community tensions, described as the "most contentious" bonfire a North.

The controversial Adam Street bonfire in 2021

The controversial Adam Street bonfire in 2021

In a scathing judgment that followed, a judge ruled the Adam Street pyre had been used by loyalists to "intimidate and terrorise" residents in the New Lodge area by hitting golf balls, throwing bricks and singing sectarian songs from the vicinity of the bonfire. Mr Justice Horner said it was "intimidation of the worst kind" and was "designed to incite, to try and produce a visceral reaction".

Now, as a result of extensive public consultation, social housing will be provided through a residential-led regeneration scheme.

To create a more comprehensive area of land for redevelopment, the boundary of the Northgate site, adjacent to Upper Canning Street, has been reconfigured and moved back.

Apex Housing Association have now been officially appointed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to redevelop Adam Street. A design team will now work with Apex to gather the views of local residents and stakeholders to meet the needs of the community.

Local Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee welcomed the redevelopment plans.

“This news of the redevelopment of the Adam Street site is most welcome and very positive for residents of the surrounding area," he said.

“The redevelopment of this contentious site will bring much needed social housing in an area of high need.

“This news will also go a long way to tackling a waste area where residents have been subject to unacceptable anti-social behaviour for some years.

“Inclusive consultation with local people has been central to arriving at this point and therefore planning the way forward.”