Plan to redevelop former Sirocco Works site in Belfast given green light
A plan to turn the former Sirocco Works site in Belfast into a waterside development with offices for 8,000 workers and provide homes for more than 1,500 residents has been approved by Belfast City Council.
The council's planning committee gave the green light to the plans on Thursday evening after the proposal was recommended for approval by planning officers.
The council says the new development will "transform" the east bank of the city with plans for community, cultural and leisure facilities such as cafes, bars, gym, restaurants and shops, as well as proposals for a bridge across the river.
Developers Osborne & Co estimate that as well as creating 875 full-time jobs during construction, the project, once completed, will create 8,295 full-time jobs, 6,130 of which will be on site and a further 2,760 through the supply chain, through almost 80,000sqm of office space.
New resident accommodation will house around 1,570 residents, 25% of which will be affordable housing, including a minimum of 10% social housing, while a "creative cluster" building, facing onto the River Lagan, will include a public square "reflecting the site's industrial heritage".
“This is a massive step forward for Belfast, with the potential to create almost 20% of the jobs pledged through the Belfast Agenda, our community plan, as well as providing new space for city centre living, another of our key goals,“ said Councillor Arder Carson, Chair of the Planning Committee.
“The provision of additional high quality office space in a brand new part of the city centre will be hugely attractive to investors as Belfast continues to grow in stature internationally as a great place to do business.
“I’m also pleased that this project will not only finally transform a site which has been out of use since 1999, but also provide affordable housing units, responding to housing need and ensuring it becomes a place for everyone, with the facilities required to reflect our expected growth in our population by 2035.”
Sinn Fein east Belfast representative Mairéad O'Donnell said: "Tonight’s announcement is welcome news. Importantly the commitment by a private developer to the provision of social housing on-site is a positive and unprecedented step and comes after extensive engagement between Sinn Féin, community groups and local housing providers.
"The site formerly occupied by the Sirocco factory has lay empty and derelict for over ten years and has passed through previous ownerships with much promise but unfortunately no delivery.
"It is a site with massive potential to transform this part of the city and deliver investment in jobs, leisure and housing."