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Building under way on huge Belfast student homes project

By John Mulgrew

Published 02/08/2016

An artist's impression of the 740-bedroom College Avenue student complex
An artist's impression of the 740-bedroom College Avenue student complex
Work has already begun on the new student development at College Avenue in central Belfast

Work has begun on what will become Belfast's biggest student housing development.

The 740-room development at College Avenue by McAleer and Rushe will comprise 647 bedrooms and 93 studio rooms, with retail outlets on the ground floor.

The Co Tyrone based developer posted an update of its work on Twitter, showing the initial foundations being laid.

The development received planning permission back in April and is one of several major developments under way across Belfast.

And plans are being made to build an even bigger development of student accommodation.

The 774-bedroom project would sit at Nelson Street, close to the Ulster University campus.

Olympian Homes and Like Architects have submitted a planning application for the scheme.

If it goes ahead, the project would be the largest of its kind in the city.

Olympian Homes said on its website: "Plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of land at Great George's Street and Little York Street, Belfast.

"The proposed development consists of 774 bedrooms of purpose-built managed student accommodation.

"(This would be) in a mix of studio apartments and cluster flats, together with associated amenity and circulation space."

The project is the latest in a string of student accommodation schemes in Belfast.

Around 3,000 student rooms have already been given the green light right across Belfast, with many of those in and around the York Street area, close to Ulster University.

And a total of 7,500 are at various different stages of development, with several projects under way.

According to two studies, however, if all the 7,500 beds were approved, that would still account for just 23% of available student beds - a much lower proportion than many other cities across the UK.

In May, another 700 rooms were given the go-ahead as part of two schemes.

That included the 317-bedroom Swanston Hall on the corner of Queen Street. The Athletic Stores building on the street is being turned into student rooms by Welsh company Watkin Jones and Holywood's Lacuna Developments.

The second project to be given the green light was a 380-bedroom development at Little Patrick Street, run by English firm UniCiti.

Belfast Telegraph

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