Belfast Telegraph

Plan for six-storey office on street where creator of ‘Belfast bap’ lived

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

An application has been made for the latest significant development in one of Belfast's historic areas.

Planning permission is being sought for a six-storey office building on a site at the corner of College Square North and College Avenue, across the road from the new Queen's Elms BT1 student accommodation building.

The street was home to the Belfast Natural History Society and baker philanthropist Barney Hughes, the creator of the 'Belfast bap'. A blue plaque now marks the building.

The company behind the £2.4m bid is Queens Quarter Housing Ltd.

The firm, based on University Street, is owned by Charles Toland.

Subject to planning approval, the company said the 15-month construction programme could create around 45 jobs.

In a report submitted to Belfast City Council's planning officials, GMR Architects, the company designing the project, said the proposed development will have a book-stop effect on the existing terrace, including the listed Wilton House.

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The firm said: "It is hoped that with this investment within this part of Belfast, will further increase the diversity and regeneration of this area of the city."

The plans come just days after Wilton Group unveiled its £4.5m plan to redevelop the Georgian Wilton House next door, which is part of a terrace dating back to the 1820s.

It follows a June 2018 proposal to build a seven-storey residential development further along College Square North.

The plan by Hillsborough-based Hollywood Thompson involves a site at the corner of Hamill Street that is currently a car park. It was placed on the market by OKT in November 2016 with a £1.25m price tag.

A previous application to build 46 apartments with basement car parking was rejected last year.

The new proposal is slightly similar, but proposed the 49 apartments for social housing use, with a mix of one and two-bed flats.

It sits next to the six-storey building opened in 2006 by Youth Action NI to deliver drama, dance and training scheme following a £2.3m development.

Meanwhile, a commercial and office space on Botanic Avenue could soon be turned into apartments.

A developer has submitted a planning application to covert the space over the Tribal Burger restaurant and the Oxfam store on the busy south Belfast thoroughfare into living accommodation.

The proposal involves partial demolition to the rear of one of the buildings and building a new third floor.

Belfast Telegraph