Business

Belfast hotel projects given green light by planners

Plans have been approved for an additional 30 bedrooms and a roof terrace at the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast city centre. Picture by Hugh Russell
Gareth McKeown

ALMOST 160 new homes and 70 additional hotel rooms for Belfast have been given the green light by city planners.

Belfast City Council has approved plans for 30 extra bedrooms at the Bullitt Hotel on Ann Street, while amended plans for the conversion of the former War Memorial Building in Waring Street will see a 37-room hotel built.

The council planning committee has granted permission for the conversion of Annsgate House at the bottom end of Ann Street to facilitate the development at Bullitt, which also includes a new rooftop bar - to be named 'Babel'.

The Bullitt Hotel, a £7 millon redevelopment of Lagan House, opened in October and includes 43 bedrooms, three bars, a restaurant and a private events space.

The hotel development in Waring Street is for 37 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar and a new roof top terrace. The initial plans were approved for a 63 bedroom hotel, but have been scaled back by the applicant, Coleraine based Chanro Investments Limited.

Further agreed at Tuesday night's meeting were 70 semi-detached and townhouse dwellings on lands at Benview Avenue and Benview Park in Ballysillan and a 64 home scheme at Station View in Dunmurry.

Planners have also given the go-ahead to plans for 22 apartments across three blocks on the site of Dundela Football Club's former training ground.

The next stage of the Lagan Gateway project has also moved a step closer with the granting of planning permission for a new boat lock at Stranmillis, to allow the passage of boats past the weir, a new footbridge and path linking Annadale and Stranmillis and new paths to Belvoir Park.

Additionally the extension Elmgrove Primary School, to accommodate 700 pupils and 112 staff, has been approved. The scheme is to cater for the extra pupil numbers from the amalgamation of Elmgrove and Avoniel Primary Schools.

The work will include two single-storey and one two-storey extensions to the rear of the existing Avoniel Road building, as well as the construction of a new nursery building.

Belfast City Council's Planning Service issued 160 decisions during the month of May, with a 96 per cent approval rate and 94 per cent issued under delegated authority. In the same period, the service validated 146 new applications, and there currently are 990 live applications under consideration.

In the period from January 1 to April 30 2017, the average processing time for deciding major planning applications was 29.8 weeks, within the 30 week statutory target. However, this includes legacy applications, which if removed, bring the processing time from validation to decision down to 22 weeks.

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