Belfast Telegraph

Developer in latest bid for student scheme on Belfast's Golden Mile

By Ryan McAleer

A Scottish firm that was refused permission to build a large student accommodation scheme at Belfast's Golden Mile has launched its latest bid to push the project through.

Rojem Properties' proposal to build a mixed 7-storey and 12-storey development, comprising 267 en-suite study bedrooms, beside Lavery's bar at Bradbury Place, was rejected by Belfast City Council in November 2016.

Last year the company downscaled its proposal to 185 rooms. Now, Rojem Properties has redrafted its plan again to 156 bedrooms in a mixed five-storey and six-storey development.

It would also require the demolition of existing buildings at the site.

Five storeys would front onto Bradbury Place, with six storeys at Albion Lane. The project would be broken up into 100 en-suite 'cluster bedrooms' and 56 studios.

The proposal also includes retail units at ground level.

Rojem Properties' first proposal was turned down in part due to the impact it could have on nearby listed structures, including the Bradbury Buildings, Crescent Arts Centre, the Moravian Church, the Crescent Church and a former Methodist Church.

Planners said it "would, if permitted, cause unacceptable damage to the character of the area due to the uncharacteristic and inappropriate height, scale, massing and design".

The redrafted proposal from the Scottish developer and Belfast-based Rapport Architects follows concern expressed by Belfast City Council's Building Control department over fire safety, waste disposal and disability access at the accommodation scheme.

The feedback to the revised proposal has been largely positive. The planning service's online web service shows 308 people have registered support to date, with 22 objecting.

Among the most recent supporters is Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw, who operates from a constituency office in nearby University Street.

If approved, the Bradbury Place project would become the latest new-build in Belfast's booming student accommodation sector.

Queen's University's link-up with McAleer and Rushe has already added 1,200 rooms through the new Elms buildings

Olympian has just completed a £37m 11-storey project opposite Ulster University at Great Patrick Street, with 474 bedrooms.

In the past two years, Lacuna Watkins Jones opened the £10m Botanic Studios on Dublin Road and the £16m John Bell House in College Square, adding 573 new units.

The developer is also engaged in major student projects at Little Patrick Street and Swanston Hall on Queen Street.

Belfast Telegraph

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