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Planning Committee’s green light for Grade A office block, new purpose-built student accommodation and residential development

Date: 16 Apr 2024

Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee has tonight granted approval for two major developments on the site of the former cinema complex on the Dublin Road -  boosting space for office workers and student population, and supporting economic activity in the city centre.

The first application is for a 14 storey purpose-built Grade A office block with retail/restaurant unit on the ground floor on the northern part of the site onto Bankmore Square. When completed, the premises will be the headquarters of locally-based software company, Kainos.  

On the southern part of the site, approval was granted for the build of a 17 storey purpose-built managed student accommodation (PBMSA), made up of 459 units, with communal facilities, internal and external communal amenity space and ancillary accommodation.  The Queen’s University Belfast application was considered to be a highly accessible location for new PBMSA close to Queen’s University, Ulster University and Belfast Met campuses.

The Planning Committee also gave the green light to a residential development on London Road/Lismore Street comprising 115 units (apartments and duplexes) with 27 social housing units.

Councillor Matt Garrett, Chair of the Planning Committee, said: “There has been a real good mix of major applications that have been approved by the Committee this month.

“The two Dublin Road planning applications for Grade A office accommodation/space and purpose-built managed student accommodation are of particular significance as they will boost the student population and office worker population in the city centre, while in turn, supporting the city centre’s economy and vibrancy.

“The new site for the student accommodation, in particular, is a central location close to the city centre core and within walking and cycling distance of Queen’s University, Ulster University and Belfast Met campuses. It will be a short distance from the new Grand Central Station (Transport Hub) and has good transport links to Stranmillis University College, St Mary’s University College and Belfast Metropolitan College on Queen’s Island.

“The development also fulfils a need for this type of accommodation and student rooms in the city.

“These major developments and the other residential application that has been approved this evening will also create hundreds of jobs during their construction phases which will have a positive economic impact for the city, as well as, provide quality accommodation for our citizens.”

For more information on the council’s Planning Committee, visit 


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