Belfast Telegraph

Refusal expected for £4.5m listed Georgian townhouse conversion

A £4.5m redevelopment of a listed Georgian townhouse in Belfast has been recommended for refusal. (PA)
A £4.5m redevelopment of a listed Georgian townhouse in Belfast has been recommended for refusal. (PA)
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A £4.5m redevelopment of a listed Georgian townhouse in Belfast has been recommended for refusal.

Wilton House at College Square North was to have been turned into eight apartments as part of the plan by the newly-established Wilton Group.

The scheme was designed by RPP Architects, which previously worked on turning the 19th century Ormeau Bakery on the Ormeau Road into high-end apartments.

But Belfast City Council's planners have recommended that the application is refused as not enough information has been given about how the historic fabric of the building will be maintained.

The application will be voted on by councillors on the planning committee of the council next Tuesday.

Wilton House, which has been empty since 2012, was the former headquarters of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) as well as the Centre for Deaf people for over 100 years.

A report filed by the planners in advance of the council meeting cites a number of reasons for the refusal.

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It claims that a new build proposed for the back of Wilton House would be "over-dominant... and would be detrimental to the street-scene".

A further reason states "insufficient evidence has been submitted detailing the current condition of the listed building and survival of the historic fabric and how important features are to be conserved, reused and repaired".

It also states that the proposal would harm "the listed building's essential character through "potential loss of historic fabric and elements of significance".

Meanwhile, a proposal for a 10-storey apartment building in Belfast with a restaurant on the ground floor has been recommended for approval.

John Smyth Estates in Holywood wants to construct the development at 57-59 and 61-63 Dublin Road.

Belfast Telegraph

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