Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Residents’ concerns over QUB accommodation

Residents' concerns have been raised over the proposed development of new accommodation for 260 postgraduate Queen's University students.

The objections come as Queen's University bosses met with Holyrood residents on Tuesday (June 2) to address fears over the project.

A Planning Service spokesman said 17 letters of objection have been received over the scheme to date.

The multi-million pound development at Elms Student Village on the Malone Road would see Sir Arthur Vick House, Shaftesbury House and properties at numbers two and four Holyrood razed to the ground.

In their place would be a 260 bedroom apartment blocks to house postgraduate students. If the planning proposal gets the go-ahead it would mean an additional 128 new bedrooms being provided on top of what is currently available for mature students.

However, the ambitious development, which is currently under consideration, has been met with residents' objections, said South Belfast MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell.

He has received a number of letters from Holyrood residents living close to the proposed site of the revamp who are worried the new blocks will be overbearing to adjoining properties, cause increasing noise annoyance and rubbish in the area.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, raised concerns that the proposal to demolish the two blocks built within the past 22 years seems to be “using time and money extravagantly”.

Mr McDonnell said: “I have been contacted by Holyrood residents concerned about this proposed development on the Queen’s Elms site.

“I welcome the fact that communication channels are open between Queen’s and residents and that meetings are taking place.

“It is important that Queen’s University takes on board residents’ concerns about this proposed additional accommodation and works with them through all of their concerns. That is the only way forward.”

A spokeswoman for Queen's University said: “The investment at Elms Village will provide improved accommodation for postgraduate, particularly international, students. The establishment of a strong postgraduate community is a key objective of the University and features in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Programme for Government and the strategic plans of the Department for Employment and Learning.”

It is understood the proposed build could employ up to 120 people on site.

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