Belfast Telegraph

Major developments on Ormeau Road look set for planning green light

By Ryan McAleer

Two major developments on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast will likely be granted planning approval on Tuesday.

City council officials have already recommended green-lighting a proposal to demolish the former Ballynafeigh PSNI station to make way for a modern apartment complex.

Planners also offered the thumbs-up to Cromac Quay Ltd's £12m bid for a six-storey office block at the Gasworks end of the Ormeau Road.

Both plans look set to be granted official approval at Tuesday's meeting of the city council's planning committee.

Property developer Francis Jennings is among those behind the Gasworks project, which will add another 9,000 sq m of office space to the business park.

The proposal for the new waterside building also includes a ground-floor coffee shop.

Cromac Quay said in its bid that the building would create hundreds of office jobs and a number of short-term roles in construction.

"(It will bring) an injection of vitality to this area of Belfast," the company added.

Knockburn Ltd's plan involves building two blocks, containing 59 apartments, where the disused police station currently stands.

The site, which was put on the market with a £900,000 asking price, was snapped up by Co Tyrone developer Padraig Drayne's company in 2016.

Knockburn's proposal includes building three ground-floor units - set up for a cafe, restaurant or a retail unit - a communal courtyard and 75 basement parking spaces.

Planners said: "The proposal will provide a high-quality mixed-use scheme on a brownfield site currently occupied by a derelict police station in a state of significant disrepair."

While many have welcomed the ongoing redevelopment of the Ormeau Road, people living in the area have raised a number of concerns.

Among their fears is the knock-on effect on parking along the busy thoroughfare.

Fratelli's bid to redevelop the former Holy Rosary Church into a 21-bed hotel and restaurant came up against local opposition.

The building would be part Tullymore House Ltd portfolio. The application is still under consideration by planners.

The Department for Infrastructure has raised no objections regarding the potential impact on the road network in relation to Knockburn's plan.

Two new restaurants are also being planned for the Ormeau Road. Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Nathan Connolly are understood to be behind new Mexican eatery Taco Cartel, while Belfast hospitality figure Jim Conlon is understood to have earmarked the Ormeau Road for his second Dirt Bird-branded restaurant in the city.

Belfast Telegraph

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