Belfast Telegraph

Fresh Belfast Tribeca plans on display, but controversial name remains

How the reduced Tribeca tower would look from Belfast’s Bridge Street
How the reduced Tribeca tower would look from Belfast’s Bridge Street
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

The London developer behind the £500m Tribeca scheme in Belfast has put new plans on public display but insisted a name change will not form a part of the consultation exercise.

Castlebrooke Investments has significantly amended some aspects of the major project, which encompasses large areas of Donegall Street and North Street.

But it won't be altering the development's name, Tribeca (Triangle Beside the Cathedral), despite a call from Belfast councillors and a largely negative public reaction.

What has changed is the flagship 27-storey building. It has now been cut to just 10 storeys and many of the facades on Donegall Street and North Street have been retained.

A plan for a major retail store has been dramatically downsized, with a controversial proposal for an underground car park at Writer's Square also being dropped.

While it will not be fully restored, the spirit of the North Street Arcade has returned in an altered form.

Planning permission has already been secured for a series of adjacent buildings, including part of Royal Avenue.

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Castlebrooke is expected to submit the application for outline planning permission later in the year.

Ahead of that, the London developer has put its proposals on public display this week in the former Mackey Opticians unit on North Street.

Speaking at the site, conservation architect Graeme Moore from, the Consarc Design Group, told the Belfast Telegraph: "The tall building has been completely reconsidered. It's now a moderately sized building associated with Bridge Street.

"The anchor store is gone because the world of retail has changed, and with the basement car park being omitted, it allows for much more of the buildings along the streetscape to be retained."

Cathedral Quarter-based conservation group Save CQ previously expressed concerns over the total or partial demolition of 21 buildings under the proposed scheme.

Last month the body said it was "cautiously optimistic", stressing that it believed the developer had responded positively to concerns.

However, it still has issues over the arts and cultural provision within the new plan, which would still see Writer's Square significantly reduced in size

"Both Castlebrooke and their new architects have responded positively to us in terms of the local economy, housing, heritage, public space and accessibility. However ,sufficient arts and culture provision within the proposed redevelopment remains a real concern," said Save CQ.

Graeme Moore added: "This is still a process whereby it's an outline and there's still time for other opinions to be brought forward.

"Generally, opinion has been very positive, especially when compared to the previous application."

Belfast Telegraph