Belfast Telegraph

City planners expected to approve new 430-bedroom Belfast student block

By John Mulgrew

A 430-bedroom student accommodation building looks likely to be given the green light next week.

Lacuna Developments and Watkin Jones Group purchased 26-44 Little Patrick Street last year from UniCiti.

The joint venture is behind three other new student accommodation developments in the city.

The scheme, which had planning permission for 354 rooms, is being put forward for fresh approval at a Belfast City Council planning committee meeting next week.

Planners said the proposed 12-storey building was "adjacent to extant approvals for similar sized buildings".

"In terms of impact on amenity, there are no existing residential uses immediately adjacent to the application site," the planners added.

"However, there are extant approvals for residential apartments immediately adjacent.

"This relationship is not considered inappropriate at this location given the context of approvals in the area."

On their recommendation to approve the Little Patrick Street project, planners said it was subject to a section 76 agreement, relating to developer contributions.

"The current proposal is for a purpose-built managed student accommodation comprising up to 430 beds on the same site which has extant planning approval for 354 units on the same building footprint," they added.

"Prior to setting out the planning assessment, it is important to understand the key differences between the two schemes.

"The main change of note is the introduction of a much increased proportion of cluster beds accommodation (81%) which are smaller in size and take up less space within the building envelope than the previously approved studio apartments plus an additional floor.

"This has resulted in an increase in the number of beds that can be accommodated."

Speaking in July after purchasing the site, Lacuna Developments' managing director Anthony Best said: "We look forward to delivering a fourth student accommodation scheme, and securing more than £100m of investment for the city."

Belfast Telegraph

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