Plans for conversion of landmark North Belfast former chapel abandoned
DEVELOPERS have abandoned plans to transform a landmark Belfast chapel into three luxury apartments The Irish News can reveal.
The former Chapel of the Resurrection in north Belfast, which dates back to the mid 1800s, was to undergo a transformation as part of a 31-dwelling residential development proposed by Tyrone-based Alskea Contracts.
However, just weeks ago amended plans were submitted by the developer for 25 units at the 3.2 acre site off the Antrim Road, comprising of three townhouses, 16 semi-detached housed and six detached dwellings, but no development on the site of the former chapel. Instead the new application only contains restoration works at the chapel, a listed building.
The initial planning application was lodged in February, but was met with local opposition, including that of North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds. It is hoped the amended plans can now be pushed through.
Belfast City Council has confirmed that “consideration of the application is ongoing” and that the Planning Service has consulted the full range of consultees, including the Historic Environment Division, to take their expert advice on the proposal. Six representations have been received from the local community. The council added that the scheme has been “recently amended” with consultations and neighbour notifications now in the process of being re-issued.
The 3.2 acre site off the Antrim Road, just on the foothills of Belfast Castle, had been on the market last year and was sold for an undisclosed amount, with a price of £1.35 million initially sought for the iconic local building.
The third Marquis of Donegal built the former chapel as a memorial to his son Frederick Richard, the Earl of Belfast, and works were completed in 1869.
Following the First World War, the ownership of the chapel, then known as Belfast Castle Chapel, was transferred to the Church of Ireland in 1938 and was named the ‘Chapel of the Resurrection’.
In the late 1980s the chapel was sold and the property owner carried out significant renovation works, in conjunction with NIEA, to prevent any deterioration of the building fabric, before selling it last year.