Student Accommodation Plan Gets Green Light

Planning permission has been granted for a new purpose-built managed student accommodation development in Belfast city centre.

Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee granted permission for the redevelopment of part of the former Belfast Metropolitan College building, at the junction of Brunswick Street and Franklin Street, into a 476 bedroom residential building. This site is adjacent to a new hotel for which the Committee granted planning permission in November 2015.

This brings to the number of new student rooms to be approved by the Council in the past two months to around 1,500.

Proposals for two other developments, on York Street and Dublin Road were deferred for site visits.

“There is a clear need for quality, managed student accommodation in the city, as is clearly demonstrated by the number of developments for which we have granted approval, and the number of applications still to come before us,” commented Councillor Matt Garrett, Chair of the Planning Committee. However, while the Council is extremely conscious of this need, we are also keenly aware of the impact such developments are likely to have on existing communities and neighbourhoods, and therefore each application which comes before us will be scrutinized in details, with the merits and demerits carefully weighed up and decisions made accordingly.”

The Committee also granted permission for:

• new 63-bedroom hotel at the former War Memorial building in Waring Street
• a new 75 unit apartment complex on Chichester Street
• a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Lagan linking the lower Ormeau Embankment and River Terrace.

The decisions were among 121 applications considered by the Planning. Since taking over planning functions from central government in April 2015, Belfast City Council’s Planning Service has received 1,275 planning applications and issued 1,256 decisions. The Service inherited around 750 “legacy applications” from the Department of the Environment; of these, around 100 remain outstanding.