Belfast Telegraph

Belfast student accommodation scheme is sold amid plans to grow development to 430 rooms

By John Mulgrew

A student accommodation scheme in Belfast has been sold off to a developer behind similar projects elsewhere in the city.

Lacuna Developments and Watkin Jones Group have purchased 26-44 Little Patrick Street, which currently has permission for 354 student rooms. It had been owned by developer UniCiti. They are also due to increase the size of the scheme, amid plans to up the bedroom numbers to 430.

The joint venture of Lacuna and Watkin Jones are also behind the now open John Bell House student development, at College Avenue, in Belfast city centre.

 It’s also behind a new 340-bedroom student scheme at Queen Street.

Lacuna is also putting the finish touches to its student development on the Dublin Road.

The total value of all the schemes is estimated to be worth £70m.

Anthony Best, managing director of Lacuna Developments, said:

“We look forward to delivering a fourth student accommodation scheme, and securing more than £100m of investment for the city.

“In September 2019, the completion of the Ulster University campus will bring 15,000 more students and staff to this area of Belfast. The revised plans for Little Patrick Street will contribute less than 1% of the accommodation required.”

“Through our experiences with John Bell House, Dublin Road and Athletic Stores we have built up our understanding of the student market and demand in Belfast. Our changes to the scheme will provide the right mix of studio and cluster bedrooms to meet demand from the market.

“Reconfiguration of the internal layout has allowed us to create a second outside amenity space, and increase the number of beds from 354 to 430.

“This will add an additional floor to the proposed accommodation; however, as a result of the reconfiguration we have reduced the overall height of the building by approximately three metres.”

The developers are now carrying out a 12-week consultation for the revised plans.

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