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Green light for £10m revamp at Belfast Odyssey and 11-storey office scheme


The proposed Paper Exchange

The proposed Paper Exchange

The proposed Paper Exchange

A major new office scheme and a revamp of Belfast's Odyssey Pavilion have both received planning approval.

The green light has been signalled for a major £10m transformation at the Odyssey, which could include more than a dozen new bars and restaurants.

And Belfast looks set to get a new 11-storey office development after plans to knock down an existing city centre building were given the go-ahead.

Both schemes were approved during Tuesday night's Belfast City Council planning committee meeting.

Holywood firm Wirefox has said 100 jobs will be created during the construction of the new Paper Exchange building.

The plans include knocking down both the Oxford and Gloucester House buildings.

Once completed the building will be able to hold around 1,500 workers. It is also set to feature car parking and ground floor coffee and restaurant units.

Work is set to begin on the development in the next few weeks.

Savills and Colliers International have been appointed as joint letting agents for the scheme.

Steven Flannery, director of investments at Wirefox, said: "The Paper Exchange is one of the most exciting office development initiatives in Northern Ireland in a decade.

"There has been significant market interest to date and we look forward to work getting under way soon.

"The provision of planning approval for the Paper Exchange is fantastic news for the wider growth of Belfast as a dynamic, international city that can cater for the office requirements of the world's leading businesses and brands."

Meanwhile, Isle of Man-based Matagorda 2, which bought the Odyssey Pavilion last year, has said "hundreds" of new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the improvements.

The business has already won planning permission for the first phase of redevelopment, including a new main entrance and a rejig of existing units. It currently has a cinema, bowling alley, restaurants and bars.

It has now won approval for the development's next stage.

Previously, Guy Hollis from Matagorda 2 said: "We are delighted to be able to rejuvenate the Odyssey Pavilion, bringing it back to being a key component of Belfast's leisure and entertainment offering.

"Our key objective is to improve the overall visual quality and tenant offering of the pavilion, making it a more attractive and user friendly destination.

"The scheme will help in the ongoing and successful regeneration of the Titanic Quarter and drive additional footfall to this part of the city."

However, a seven-storey apartment block planned for Belfast city centre was refused permission amid concerns over its size and scale.

Developers Silver City Limited wanted to build the 46-apartment plus car park building between College Square and south of Hamill Street. Planners recommended the plans were turned down.

Planning documents said: "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."

Belfast Telegraph