Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Belfast's smallest house is demolished to make way for car park

It was reportedly Belfast's smallest house and its demolition – currently under way – has sparked an uproar among those warning it will rip character from the city.

The diminutive red brick building adjoining Great Victoria Street Baptist Church, dates back to the 19th century.

In 1895 the eight-foot wide building was added onto the church, which itself dates back to the 1860s. It was reportedly the home of the Baptist church's sexton or caretaker. The building is mentioned by most tour guides in the city, who have dubbed it "Belfast's smallest house".

Demolition has begun on the building, as well as the adjacent church. Planning permission has been granted for a temporary car park, and there are plans for office buildings with church facilities on the site.

Billy Dickson, who runs Belfast City Walking Tours and Coach Guiding Services, said he was "saddened" to see it being demolished and described it as a "great loss to the city".

According to the Planning Service, the building, which is not listed or in a conservation area, was "not fit for purpose" and had deteriorated rapidly.

Shane Quinn, the development manager for Belfast Buildings Trust, said: "Damp and mould are no reason to tear such a building down."

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