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£4m Belfast apartment complex gets go-ahead

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A retail warehouse in Belfast's Sandy Row neighbourhood is to make way for a £4m apartment complex. (stock photo)

A retail warehouse in Belfast's Sandy Row neighbourhood is to make way for a £4m apartment complex. (stock photo)

A retail warehouse in Belfast's Sandy Row neighbourhood is to make way for a £4m apartment complex. (stock photo)

A retail warehouse in Belfast's Sandy Row neighbourhood is to make way for a £4m apartment complex.

Benamara Properties' planning application for 42 apartments, which was approved by Belfast City Council last month, will be the latest modern high-rise development along the Shaftesbury Square end of the Donegall Road.

The island-type site, between Gaffikin Street and Donegall Road, contains the warehouse and a series of small local retailers.

The location has been identified for residential development since 2007, when a similar flats complex was approved.

But the latest incarnation of the project from the Ballyclare developer still faced some local opposition from the Sandy Row Community Forum.

The objection was to "over-development" in the area, with the forum arguing that the 42 apartments would not benefit the local community.

While planning officials accepted the project lies adjacent to a high density of apartments already, it said the principle of developing the site had been accepted in older approved applications. Accordingly, permission was granted.

Meanwhile, the English firm behind the recently completed £18m Portland complex on the Ormeau Road containing 88 apartments has downsized its proposal for an adjacent seven-storey project.

Barnett Developments had originally proposed 49 flats for the vacant site at the junction of Donegall Pass and Ormeau Road in 2017.

Last month it submitted a revised version of the scheme to Belfast City Council's planning department, reducing it to 38 units.

Founded by Nick Barnett in Bristol, the company, which specialises in city centre apartment projects, said last year it was looking to acquire a third site in Belfast city centre.

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