More than 120 new homes on way for Belfast
Belfast City Council has granted planning approval for 123 new homes in the city, including three modern apartment complexes south of the city centre.
The developments, passed by councillors on Tuesday evening, include a £5m apartment project on the site of a derelict former Northern Bank on the Lisburn Road and a similar development to turn a former Belfast School of Music building on Donegall Pass into 23 apartments.
In both cases, the old buildings - the former bank at the junction of Tates Avenue and the 19th century school building on Apsley Street known at Porter's Annex - will be demolished.
The planning committee also approved 38 new apartments on the Ormeau Road and 39 dwellings in north Belfast.
The £7m apartment project brings the total investment on the Ormeau Road by Bristol-based Barnett Developments to £19m.
The decision to develop Porter's Annex sees Music Hall Services Ltd finally succeed in securing planning approval.
The company, which acquired the site for around £140,000 at auction in 2016, failed on two previous efforts to get its proposal past Belfast City Council and the Planning Appeals Commission.
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The company has now been given the go-ahead to demolish the two-storey structure and build an apartment building over three and four storeys containing 23 flats.
Recommending approval, city council planning officials said: "The approved development will bring a disused unit into use, which will in turn create jobs and investment."
On the Lisburn Road, another site which has been vacant for more than a decade is set to be given a new lease of life.
The former Northern Bank is to be redeveloped by Clear Rosemount.
Its directors include Colin Johnston, who heads the Clear Healthcare pharmacy group.
The developers have said they expect between 40 and 50 jobs to be created during the construction phase.
The new five-storey building will also bring three new cafe and retail units to the Lisburn Road.
In the north of the city, Ballyclare property firm Beechview Developments has been given planning permission to build 30 semi-detached and nine detached houses at Thornberry Road, close to Ligoniel Road.
The company is headed by well-known developer Bryan Orr.