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Former police station to be transformed into hotel in heart of Belfast

Published on 19 February 2024

A landmark former police station looks set to be converted into a hotel in Belfast city centre.

The City Hall planning committee has given the green light for a new 74-bedroom hotel on Queen Street and has granted listed building consent to bring the building into use again.

Permission for the change of use of the old police station at number 21 means the Grade B1 listed building is set to be refurbished, with a new nine storey extension to be added to the rear of the building.

The development proposals include a bar and restaurant among other facilities.

Planning committee chair councillor Matt Garrett said: “Granting planning approval for this new hotel in the city centre and for these major residential developments across the city is fantastic news for visitors to Belfast and residents and potential residents to the city.

“The planning application for the new hotel in Queen Street is of particular significance as the building is Grade B1 listed and on the heritage risk register so bringing it into use again by converting to a new hotel is to warmly welcomed.

"It’s another great attraction for the city centre showing council’s commitment to develop the city centre to make it an attractive place to live, work, study and visit, socialise and invest in.”

“So far this year, and we are only in the second month, the Committee has granted approval to 773 housing units in the city. This also complements the city’s community plan – Belfast Agenda’s aim of increasing the city’s residential population and bringing forward residential opportunities across all housing tenures.”

The building served as a police station in the heart of Belfast from 1933 to 2000. Designed by Thomas Jackson & Son, it initially served as a hospital after completion in 1877.

The building has been abandoned since 2000, and has been on the at risk register since 2006.

Planning committee members at Belfast City Council also approved applications for two residential developments in the east and north of the city.

One relates to a four storey apartment block comprising 16 units on 215-225 Castlereagh Road.

The other is for a three-and-a-half storey development on 22-30 Hopefield Avenue with 33 units including a mix of social housing and wheelchair friendly apartments.

It follows a number of approvals granted at last month’s meeting which has paved the way for a number of major residential developments in the city centre, including 298 new apartments in Tomb Street/Corporation Street; 256 apartments in City Quays and 77 new apartments in May Street/Victoria Street/Gloucester Street.

A social housing development at Pilot Street in the Sailortown area of the city made up of 69 units including a mix of townhouses and apartments and 24 two and three-bed apartments in Ballygomartin Road in the west of the city has also been given the go-ahead.

Source: Belfast Telegraph