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Developers Seek to Appeal Belfast Planning Application

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Developers behind plans to build a 620-bed student accommodation scheme in Belfast are to appeal the council's decision to refuse it permission.

The Northside Regeneration body and the former Department for Social Development (DSD) wanted to construct the building near Royal Avenue, located in the city centre.

The scheme formed part of a wider £300 million Belfast regeneration plan and would have also featured retail and leisure facilities.

However, DSD pulled out last year, saying developers "should no longer benefit from the potential use of the department's statutory powers".

The project was subsequently refused permission, but Northside Regeneration and Balfour Beatty are looking to appeal the decision, with a hearing scheduled for next month.

If the project had been given planning permission, it would have been located on Donegall Street. However, it was ruled the proposal contradicted the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan.

Under the area plan the site was earmarked for social housing, therefore if the project is permitted it would prevent the potential to deliver social housing. Concerns were also raised that the development could cause damage to the residential amenity for existing residences due to the inappropriate design, height, scale and massing.

Further barriers to the development include the possible impact the site may have on nearby listed buildings, including St Patrick's Church.

A number of student housing developments are already being built in the city, including a 740-bed scheme at College Avenue and a 317-bed scheme at Swanston Hall on the corner of Queen Street.