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Belfast City Council approves 740-bedroom student accommodation complex in College Avenue

Published 19/04/2016

What the 740-bedroom student development could look like
What the 740-bedroom student development could look like

Construction of a 740-bedroom student accommodation complex in Belfast city centre has been granted planning permission.

Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee granted permission for the construction of the massive complex on a vacant site in College Avenue. 

The development, by McAleer and Rushe, will comprise 647 bedrooms and 93 studio rooms, with retail outlets on the ground floor.

Councillor Matt Garrett, Chair of the Planning Committee, said: "There is a clear need for quality, managed student accommodation in the city, as is demonstrated by the number of developments for which we have granted approval, and the number of applications still to come before us.

"However, while the Council is extremely conscious of this need, we are also keenly aware of the impact such developments are likely to have on existing communities and neighbourhoods, and therefore each application which comes before us will be scrutinized in details, with the merits and demerits carefully weighed up and decisions made accordingly."

The Committee also granted permission for conversion of the former St Malachy’s Convent House, on the corner of Joy Street and Sussex Place, into an apartment complex. 

The development will involve the retention and renovation of the existing Victorian building, with the addition of a new extension at the rear, to provide six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.

Applications for the replacement of the Policing Museum, with a new purpose-built facility, at the PSNI headquarters at Knock, a centralised anaerobic digestion plant, with combined heat and power plant, at Airport Road West, and a new apartment block on the site of a vacant public house on the Springfield Road, were also approved.

The committee also agreed with proposals by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to list the former rectory in the grounds of St Mark’s Church on the Holywood Road and the Shaftesbury Square Reformed Presbyterian Church on the Dublin Road.

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