One of the biggest office developments ever undertaken in Northern Ireland has been given the go-ahead by the Department for Infrastructure.
Belfast Harbour has said its £46m City Quays 3 building will employ up to 600 people during the construction phase and will eventually provide space for up to 3,000 workers.
The 16-storey waterfront development in the harbour area will add another 250,000 sq ft of office floorspace to one of the city's fastest growing business districts.
Situated near the M3, between the new AC Marriott Hotel and the City Quays 2 building, which is home to media company UTV, City Quays 3 will be more than double the size of Belfast Harbour's last office development.
The application, which was submitted in May 2017, was designated as a regionally significant project and sent to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) for consideration. Yesterday the department issued a notice of opinion to approve permission. New powers granted to civil servants in November mean that opinion can now be officially adopted in absence of a minister.
The decision by DfI came in the same week that Belfast Harbour announced the official opening of its £17m City Quays car park. Built by Felix O'Hare and operated by NCP, it has added another 907 parking spaces to the harbour area.
Reacting to the news yesterday, a spokesperson for Belfast Harbour said it was "excellent news".