Allstate gets green light for its new HQ in Belfast
Insurance giant Allstate has been given the green light to build its new six-storey headquarters in east Belfast, despite objections from call centre firm Concentrix.
Allstate submitted a planning application for a new building beside the former Maysfield Leisure Centre earlier this year, after agreeing to buy the site from Belfast City Council.
But Concentrix had raised a series of objections to Allstate's plans for headquarters close to the site, where Concentrix intends to build its own office.
US-owned Concentrix said Allstate's application was "unacceptable" with its development plans overlapping into land "Concentrix has agreed to purchase in our lease agreement".
But during a meeting of the Council's planning committee last night, Allstate's plans were approved with conditions.
There had been concerns about a lack of "open space" once the development is constructed.
But last night's meeting heard Allstate will develop an open space area, upgrade the foot and cycle path, spend £2,000 each year on maintenance of a playground, the creation of open gardens, and the inclusion of a Belfast Bikes dock.
There were also objections raised by both the Department for Social Development (DSD), and a late application by some residents.
Meanwhile, Belfast's most significant hotel project in a decade has been given the go ahead.
The £30m four-star, 200-bedroom Belfast Grand Central Hotel will transform 23-storey Windsor House in the city centre.
It's the single biggest investment by family-run Hastings Hotels in the company's history.
It's been named after one of the city's most famous former hotels, the Grand Central.
The council heard no objections from members, but Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey described Windsor House as the most "appalling building in Belfast".