Plans for Belfast Sirocco Works site welcomed
Politicians in east Belfast have welcomed city council approval for plans to turn the derelict Sirocco Works site into a waterside development providing offices for 8,000 workers and homes for more than 1,500 residents.
The ambitious plan got the go-ahead at the council's planning committee last night.
Belfast City Council says the development will transform the east bank of the city, with plans for community, cultural and leisure facilities such as cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, as well as a new Lagan bridge.
Councillor Arder Carson, chair of the planning committee, said: "This is a massive step forward for Belfast, with the potential to create almost 20% of the jobs pledged through the Belfast Agenda, as well as providing new space for city centre living, another of our key goals.
"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."
Local politicians welcomed the council decision.
DUP representative George Dorrian told the Belfast Telegraph: "This development has the potential to transform this part of the city - the plans are very impressive.
"The site has been derelict for a long time,and it's good news that things are moving forward."
Sinn Fein east Belfast representative Mairead O'Donnell said: "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 Fein, community groups and local housing providers.
"The site formerly occupied by the Sirocco factory has lain empty and derelict for over 10 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."