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Student Rooms in Belfast to Replace Plans for Offices

Posted by Calum Martin in

Image courtesy of Flickr, (View licence)

A change of plans in Belfast is set to see student accommodation built in place of planned office development.

Developers have cited that a change in working patterns post-pandemic has led to the decision to drop plans for offices.

Belfast City Council had previously granted planning permission to Bywater Properties and Ashmour Developments for an office scheme on land between Gresham Street and Winetavern, which is currently used as a car park.

The new proposal will see developers lodge plans for over 500 student units, aiming to meet the growing need for accommodation in the city.

The pre-application notice filed with planners is for 583 student bedrooms contained within a 226,200 sq. ft building.

Approximately 350 construction jobs will be created in the build phase of the project.

Principal of Bywater Properties, Patrick O'Gorman, commented: £We really loved the Smithfield Yard scheme which we brought forward in 2019, but with working patterns changing post-pandemic and plenty of other high-quality office stock coming forward in Belfast we see greater need in this area for new high-quality city-centre accommodation to support the growing student demand.

"The new Ulster University campus at York Street has brought a new vibrancy to this part of the city, but many of the students attending the campus are having to live a significant distance away in other parts of the city because of a shortage of student apartments.

"Queen's University also expects demand for new accommodation to grow significantly in the next few years. We believe we are well placed to help meet some of that need and are excited to bring forward a proposal that will contribute to the regeneration of this part of Belfast by using the vibrancy of the student community to help support a renaissance of the traditional small shops and businesses in the area."