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Apartment scheme at former El Divino nightclub given green light after recommendation reversed

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What the building could look like amid the current plans

What the building could look like amid the current plans

What the building could look like amid the current plans

A major apartment development at the former El Divino nightclub has been given the green light after initially being recommended for refusal.

The Benmore Group has submitted its planning application to build 154 apartments along the River Lagan at the former El Divino venue close to the Hilton Hotel and Waterfront Hall.

El Divino was put on the market at the end of 2015.

The three-floor venue was a favourite haunt for celebrities over its six-year lifespan before it closed in 2017.

The £25m Laganbank scheme will feature a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments on the edge of the city centre.

Benmore is also involved the £100m Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park, the first phase of which was approved last December.

The developer has claimed it will boost the Northern Ireland economy by £47m annually and support 640 full-time equivalent jobs. Benmore says that if approved, the Laganbank scheme will generate 140 jobs during its 16-month construction phase.

The council says it has resolved to grant planning permission for 154 residential units and a ground floor retail unit on the site of the former El Divino Nightclub, carpark and adjacent open space at Mays Meadow.

Permission has also been given for the construction of 16 social housing units on lands south-west of 22 Old Park Terrace; as well as a five storey office development for science and IT based business, associated car parking and public realm works on land adjacent to Concourse Buildings, Queen’s Road.

Councillor Arder Carson, chairman of Belfast City Council’s planning committee, said: “I’m very pleased with the way in which our planning service has adapted to the challenges of continuing to function under lockdown. Our team’s rigorous and professional approach means that we can continue to contribute to the ambitious goals set out in the Belfast Agenda – helping to build a more inclusive, successful, prosperous city, where our people’s quality of life is of the greatest importance.”

Ulster Business