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UniCity Pulls Out of Belfast Student Development

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans to build one of Belfast's largest student accommodation developments has been put on hold after the site was put up for sale.

Developer UniCiti had planned to build an 11-storey student accommodation scheme with 354 bedrooms. Originally the developers had lined up Collegiate AC to manage the accommodation once operational.

Situated on Little Patrick Street, the vacant land is now being marketed and sold off as a "student development opportunity".

The plans were given the green light by Belfast City Council last year, but now the land has gone on the market with commercial property firm Savills.

According to promotional material "the property is perfectly positioned for student accommodation, approximately 200m from the new Ulster University campus and 350m from the Central Library".

Around 4,000 student bed spaces have already been approved in Belfast, with many of those located in and around the York Street area, close to the new Ulster University campus.

UniCity had argued, even if all managed beds were approved and built it would account for less than 25% of all available student beds, which is a lower proportion than many other cities.

However, others have suggested there isn't the demand for thousands of student beds, which have already been granted planning permission.

In particular, Dairmid Laird of lettings agents Laird believes students will continue to favour cheaper, privately-owned housing over purpose-built student accommodation.