Belfast Telegraph

Belfast council expected to knock back city apartment building scheme

An artist’s impression of the proposed Belfast apartments block
An artist’s impression of the proposed Belfast apartments block

By John Mulgrew

A seven-storey apartment block planned for Belfast city centre looks likely to be refused amid concerns over its size and scale.

Developers Silver City Limited want to build the 46-apartment plus car park building between College Square and south of Hamill Street.

But planners are recommending it be turned down when it goes before next week's Belfast City Council planning committee meeting.

"Having regard to the policy context, planning history, and other material considerations above, the proposal is considered unacceptable and refusal of planning permission is recommended," planners said.

Concerns include an impact on nearby amenities, and that the building is too tall for the area.

The application received one objection, which centred around concerns over "dominance, overshadowing, and overlooking", claims of "inappropriate height and scale", as well as "disturbance from traffic".

Planners said the development of the site, which is currently a car park, would contribute to improving the area, but must apply with planning guidelines and "not adversely impact on the conservation area".

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The council's urban design officer and conservation officer said that "the height and scale of the proposal is excessive and dominant, breaching the established building height of the portion of the street within the conservation area".

"Accordingly, the proposal would read as visually incongruous within the townscape of the locality.

"The massing of the building is contextually inappropriate and out of character with the townscape.

"Accordingly, the proposal is considered contrary to the relevant policies."

Planners added that the "close proximity and scale of the proposal will result in dominance, and overshadowing of existing properties due to the aspect of the site".

And they said that in relation to overlooking, "the privacy of the rear of properties in Hamill Street will be adversely impacted from proposed window positions, at first and second floor level in particular".

Meanwhile, a church's £3m plans to knock down its existing home at Malone Avenue to build 22 apartments look likely to be approved during next week's meeting. Windsor Baptist Church has submitted revised proposals for the development after a backlash from residents.

Belfast Telegraph