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Belfast dockland 10 storey office and retail building approved

Published on 28 June 2024

A plan for a new 10 storey office, retail and community building in the City Quays area of Belfast has been approved.

The applicant is Belfast Harbour and the plan is part of the wider office regeneration scheme at former dockland.

The Belfast City Council Planning Committee on Thursday (June 27) unanimously approved an application for a proposed building ranging between five and ten storeys, that is around 21 to 42 metres high.

The site is at lands west of Donegall Quay, east of Tomb Street, south of Corporation Square opposite Belfast Harbour Office, and immediately north of the NCP multi storey car park.

The plan is that the building will include offices, ground floor retail, community, cultural and restaurant space. There will also be a licensed restaurant on the upper level with an external terrace. There will be a rooftop plant area, landscaping, servicing, public realm improvements, and associated site works.

No objections were made by any of the statutory consultees apart from NI Water, and no objections were received by the council from businesses or members of the public.

Council planning officers recommended the application for approval. The council planning report states: “The proposal would provide very high-quality Grade A office accommodation that would help to attract investment and support jobs in the city. The listed Belfast Harbour Office is located opposite the site. There are two further listed buildings to the west.

“It is considered that the design of the building would respect the setting of these listed buildings. The Department for Communities Historic Environment Division offers no objection to the proposal.

“The building would be of a high-quality design and is targeting BREEAM Outstanding. The council senior urban design officer offers no objection to the proposal.

“The proposed building would be supported by generous levels of open space and would have very good access to City Quays Gardens, an area of new open space being constructed opposite the site to the north.

“There are no objections from consultees other than from NI Water which has concerns about insufficient waste-water capacity. However, it is considered unreasonable to withhold planning permission on those grounds for the reasons specified in the main report.”

The regeneration of the neighbouring Sailortown took a huge leap forward in January this year after two major planning applications for residential developments in the area were approved at City Hall.

At a meeting of the Belfast City Council Planning Committee, elected representatives unanimously approved two planning applications at different locations in the historic dockland area, at Pilot Street and City Quays. Both applications were by the Belfast Harbour Harbour Office, Corporation Square.

Created on reclaimed land in the mid-19th century, and bordered by Henry Street, York Street and the Whitla Street dock gate, Sailortown was a thriving working-class dockland community with a mixed protestant and catholic make-up. Most of its houses were demolished by the 1970’s with urban redevelopment.

A combination of private investment in the greater Docks area and building of social housing has led to a growth in population since 2010 in the Pilot Street area.

Councillors agreed the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of an social and affordable housing development comprising 69 residential units at lands bound by Pilot Street, Short Street, the rear of 11 to 29 Garmoyle Street, the rear of 63 and 65a Dock Street and 123 Corporation Street, Belfast.

The development will see a mix of apartments and townhouses, including an ancillary community hub and offices, car parking, and landscaping.

Elected representatives also approved a residential development comprising 256 units and new public realm, at lands immediately north of Cross Harbour Bridge, East of Donegall Quay and south of AC Marriott Hotel, City Quays, Belfast.

The larger development at City Quays involves the erection of a 23-storey tower with lower 12 storey element, comprising 254 Build To Rent apartments. The tower would be 76.4 metres at its highest point.

Councillors at a City Hall committee meeting last summer noted an update on progress of the Cork Belfast Docklands Regeneration Initiative under the Shared Island Fund, an initiative by the government in the Republic set up to “promote practical North/South cooperation.”

Elected representatives at the Strategic Policy and Resources committee agreed the prioritised project for the Belfast Dockside Regeneration project would be the Sailortown to Titanic Quarter Active Travel Bridge. The plan for a walking and cycling bridge is at the bidding stage for funding.

Source: Belfast Live (link opens in new window)