Belfast Telegraph

KFC tycoon Herbert's property firm to get nod for plush apartments complex in east Belfast

By John Mulgrew

A company which counts the KFC tycoon Michael Herbert as one of its directors looks set to get the green light for a luxury 104-apartment development in east Belfast.

His company, Kirk Bryson, wants to build Parklands - an apartment development based at Knocknagoney in Belfast.

It will feature 104 apartments, including 18 one-bedroom flats along with 83 two-bedroom flats and three with three bedrooms.

Planners have recommended it gets approval at next week's Belfast City Council committee meeting.

It's one of three housing schemes the company is currently planning.

The firm is also planning a housing development called Rose Park, close to the Stormont Estate, which will include 53 homes, consisting of a mixture of four-bedroom detached, four and three-bedroom semi-detached and townhouses, along with two-bedroom apartments.

Speaking about the Parklands development, Stephen Blaney of Coogan and Co Architects, which is designing both of the schemes, had previously told the Belfast Telegraph: "The apartments at Parklands will appeal to a growing generation of young professionals living in our city."

Planners have said: "It is considered that the proposed apartments is an acceptable form of development at this site, given previous land use for apartments.

"Having had regard to the development plan, relevant planning policies and other material considerations... it is recommended that the proposal should be approval subject to conditions."

They said it is requested that the planning committee "delegate authority to the director of planning and place to grant planning permission".

Further fresh plans show Kirk Bryson & Co Ltd is proposing a 19-home development at a former Lidl store site on the outskirts of the north of the city on the Antrim Road.

Mr Herbert - whose company holds Europe's largest KFC franchise - is probably best known for the Lesley buildings, which is a collection of residential, commercial and office schemes that are named after his wife.

Aside from his fast food franchise, the businessman also deals in commercial property.

In June he sold off two of his Belfast city centre buildings for over £5m.

Lesley Exchange 1 and Lesley Exchange 2 were part of a major property auction, but sold for an undisclosed amount shortly before the Osborne King event took place.

But it's understood both buildings went for at least their maximum reserve price.

Michael Herbert's company, Kirk Bryson, is not his first foray into housing developments, however the new schemes are some of the largest that he has been involved in. The new Rose Park housing scheme aims "to create a high-quality residential development".

The proposed homes are being designed in an "arts and crafts architectural style" with finishes in "keeping with the character of the area and are set within a well-designed landscape scheme of native tree planting and hedgerows".

Meanwhile, the owner of Ten Square, Paddy Kearney, is expected to get the go-ahead to build 53 homes at Castlehill Road in east Belfast. His company, Kilmona Holdings, is seeking planning permission for 53 houses, made up of 34 semi-detached homes, three detached, and 16 two-bedroom apartments, in addition to open space, landscaping, and associated access.

A number of other housing schemes are also being recommended for approval at next week's Belfast City Council planning committee meeting.

That includes 51 homes close to Ballymagarry Lane, in Belfast.

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