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Study to examine future development of city centre announced

5 Jun 2019
Members of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee have this evening agreed to jointly commission a study with the Department for Infrastructure and the Department for Communities, to examine how the city centre should develop in a way that is accessible and welcoming for all. This will include an examination of models of pedestrianisation and other initiatives which facilitates the development of the city centre enabling both pedestrian enjoyment and sustainable transport access.
It follows a motion put forward to Council in May to permanently pedestrianise part of the city centre following the success of a temporary park at Castle Place between March and May this year.
The pop-up park project was designed as a short-term use of the area while pedestrian access was restricted due to the cordon around Bank Buildings.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey, chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said: “The pop-up park at Castle Place was always intended to be temporary, but it proved a huge success with the general public; so much so, that its removal sparked calls to permanently pedestrianise the area.
“While we are committed to our ambitions within the Belfast Agenda, to promote a ‘greener’ city which supports more sustainable forms of transport including walking and cycling, there are a number of factors to consider, and Council cannot take decisions on this issue in isolation.
“There has been ongoing engagement between Council, Department for Infrastructure and the Department for Communities on how the city centre can best function for all users, and that engagement will continue over the coming months.
“The Council, DfI and DfC are keen to jointly explore options for Belfast city centre in order for us to strike a balance between creating a functioning, successful city to support businesses and trade, and developing green urban play and family spaces.”
The decision of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee is subject to ratification of full Council when it next meets in July.
View of Donegall Place from Belfast City Hall