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1,200 rooms for students get go-ahead in Belfast city centre

By John Mulgrew

Published 20/01/2016

An artist’s impression of UniCiti’s proposed student development on York Street
An artist’s impression of UniCiti’s proposed student development on York Street

Almost 1,200 student rooms have got the green light after two major developments were given planning permission.

Belfast City Council last night approved two managed student developments in the city centre.

They are a 682-bedroom project at York Street by UK firm UniCiti, and an 11-storey student building with 475 rooms by Patton Developments located at Great Patrick Street.

Both are located close to the new Ulster University campus in the city centre.

Three other proposals - including one large student development - were refused.

The knocked-back student plan was for a 408-bedroom development close to Library Street.

Planners said it was of a "scale which is unacceptable" - it was to have been 34 metres high.

Addressing last night's planning committee, a representative acting for the firm behind the failed scheme said her client was "extremely shocked" that the student accommodation had been refused. She said her client was "proactive" and had only recently learned about concerns raised.

Outline planning for a development at Carrick Hill was also turned down, along with a small 21-bedroom conversion to student accommodation close to Central Library.

Work is expected to begin soon on the two developments which were approved last night.

There are a total of 7,500 student rooms planned for Belfast across 16 developments.

There is expected to be an influx of Ulster University students over the course of the next two years as the university moves the bulk of its Jordanstown courses to the city centre campus.

According to two studies, if all 7,500 beds were approved, it would account for just 23% of available student beds, a lower proportion than many other cities in the UK.

One of the first major student accommodation blocks to undergo construction is at the former Belfast Metropolitan College building in the city centre.

The new 413-room development is quoting weekly prices from £120. That includes a range of services such as electricity, gas, broadband internet and television.

Belfast Telegraph

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