Belfast Telegraph

Public to get their say on £400m Sirocco Quays revamp

By John Mulgrew

The public will have the chance this week to see fresh and detailed plans for a £400m revamp of Sirocco Quays in Belfast. The huge site would encompass more than 700,000sq ft of office space, a hotel, 815 homes, restaurants, pubs, shops and cafes. It's claimed when fully completed it could create 5,000 jobs.

During the 12-week consultation process - which is a requirement of a development of this size - the public will be able to see the master plan for the mixed-use scheme and deliver feedback to developers.

In November, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that the St Francis Group and a new company, Swinford (Sirocco) Limited, had bought the land.

A previous deal to acquire the site fell through after part of it was slapped with a Government conservation order.

Sirocco Quays is located between the Short Strand and Bridge End.

Philip Silk, director of Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd, said: "We are delighted to be starting the community consultation process and look forward to engaging with local communities and stakeholders and receiving feedback from them. This development represents a great opportunity for local communities and indeed for Belfast city.

"The 815 new homes represent 2.2% of the Belfast Agenda 2035 target, while the jobs created by the construction work and the new office space will make up around 11.5% of the 46,000 new jobs Belfast City Council is seeking to create by 2035."

Swinford agreed to buy the site in August 2016, with the deal being completed in January. Architects Broadway Malyan said the idea was to have the work completed by 2035.

Mr Silk has said that a plan for 815 new homes as part of the scheme is the "largest residential development in the city centre".

"It will include a mix of private, rental, social and affordable accommodation.

"The new neighbourhood at Sirocco will deliver high-quality riverside living for a population of 1,600 residents, and boast new amenities including bars, restaurants and retail, all in an inspiring and exciting new environment.

"We have recognised the unmatched opportunity to extend and complement the traditional centre of Belfast, and bring the opposite bank of the River Lagan back into the life of the city.

"This is a site of significant importance to the continuing regeneration of both the city centre and east Belfast, and to the continued growth of Northern Ireland's economy."

The first community consultation is tomorrow at the Short Strand community centre, from 3pm to 8pm.

The second is at the Mount at Woodstock Link on Friday, then the Hilton Hotel on May 2, from 10 am until 3pm, and finally Skainos Centre on May 4.

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