The latest phase of the controversial £500m Belfast Tribeca redevelopment was given the go-ahead at a meeting of Belfast City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday night.
pproval was granted to the amendments which Castlebrooke Developments submitted to the outlined planning application for the scheme, which encompasses large areas of Donegall Street and North Street, in September.
Tribeca Belfast is an urban regeneration scheme on a 12-acre site located beside St Anne’s Cathedral bounded by Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street.
Planning permission has already been granted for the first phase, with the outline covering the remaining two-thirds of the site.
The application was given the green light following a marathon meeting where a member of the public interrupted planners to voice her objection to the scheme.
The woman, who said she was a business owner in the Cathedral Quarter area, called the proposals a “disgrace” and said it was “ripping the heart” out of Belfast.
She then promptly left the meeting and discussions continued as the chair of Save CQ, Agustina Martire, said reducing Writer’s Square was “unacceptable” and to approve the plan in this form was “unforgivable”.
Other objections were raised before Craig O’Brien from Savills, speaking as a representative for the applications, said Tribeca was a “game changer” for Belfast.
Writer’s Square was a prominent issue raised at the meeting, as it was reference throughout by both those for and against the application.
Castlebrooke Investments stressed it was committed to bringing North Street Arcade back into use in a new format, with space designed to accommodate independent retailers.
The approval for each aspect of the application was voted through with a majority in favour but no aspect was unanimously approved.
Neil Young, chief executive of Castlebrooke Investments, said the planning approval was “the start of a major regeneration for a vital part of Belfast city centre”.
He added: “We are delighted that approval has been granted. It sends a clear message to other investors that the city is open for business.
“With these changes we have sought to listen to the feedback of our stakeholders in Belfast and we believe that our architects, Squire & Partners, and specialist conservation architects, Consarc Design Group, have incorporated these changes into a scheme which will revitalise this important area of the city.
“We would like to thank Belfast City Council for reaching this decision tonight and we look forward to beginning on site.”