Belfast Telegraph

Plan to turn former Belfast church into hotel and restaurant given the green light

The former Holy Rosary Church on Belfast’s Ormeau Road
The former Holy Rosary Church on Belfast’s Ormeau Road
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A proposal by the owners of the Galgorm Resort to turn a south Belfast church and parochial house into an £8m restaurant and hotel has crossed the final planning hurdle.

Belfast City Council's planning committee finally signed off on Galgorm Collection's application to open two venues at the former Holy Rosary Church on the Ormeau Road.

Councillors held off on passing the proposal last month in order to visit the derelict site.

The committee also signed off on a new 16-storey apartment development in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter following a site visit to the Academy Street location, next to Ulster University.

Holywood firm Lacuna and Welsh developer Watkin Jones are behind the £15m project, which will feature 60 two-bed and 30 one-bed buy-to-let apartments. The ground floor of the high-rise will include a cafe, management suite and services.

Up to 110 construction jobs are expected to be involved in the joint venture.

The Galgorm Collection said around 100 jobs will be created by its new hospitality venue.

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Managing director Colin Johnston said the 18-bed hotel and the restaurant, based inside the former church, will open in spring 2020.

"We've extensively engaged with councillors, partners, residents and stakeholders to ensure that one of Belfast's finest, historic buildings can be carefully restored to create an outstanding new and unique hotel and dining experience for the city and for Northern Ireland," he added.

"We are delighted that our approved plans will further enhance Belfast's growing high quality hospitality offer in line with our own aspirations and that of the city, while adding to the vibrancy of community life on Ormeau Road."

Belfast Telegraph