Belfast office schemes worth combined £70m set for planning green light

The £50m first phase of the landmark Sirocco Works redevelopment is recommended for planning approval next week
Gareth McKeown

TWO new Belfast office developments worth a combined £70 million are set to receive the green light from council planners next week.

The proposals for the £50m first phase of the landmark Sirocco Works redevelopment and the £20m 11-storey Graham House development on Tomb Street in the city centre have been recommended for approval at Tuesday's meeting of Belfast City Council's planning committee.

Vanguard Real Estate submitted plans for the first phase of the £400m regeneration of Belfast waterside in February and the 250,000 sq ft Grade A office scheme, if ratified by planners, will see an initial £50m investment and deliver the first major employment activity at the site in more than 20 years, accommodating roughly 2,500 staff.

The developers envisage that the 13-storey office accommodation building, which includes a retail unit on the ground floor alongside café/restaurant units, will be the first step in creating modern workspace for 11.5 per cent of the 46,000 new jobs that Belfast City Council is seeking to create by 2035.

The Sirocco Works development will encompass a mix of corporate office occupiers and city residents alongside an eclectic range of media, performance and digital activities all living, working and playing on the same campus.

It is hoped the regeneration project at the 16-acre site could create as many as 5,500 jobs, 750 homes and almost 80,000 square metres of contemporary office space.

Speaking in February, director of Vanguard Real Estate, Jim Osborne said the office application is the "first step in realising our ambition".

“By 2020 there will be a thriving business and creative quarter, as Belfast waterside emerges as a highly successful mixed-use regeneration scheme, including offices, a hotel, serviced apartments, residential units for sale and rent, affordable, social housing and significant retail and leisure space.”

Paris-based developer Stargime is awaiting approval for an 11 storey office building with ground floor restaurant/café on Tomb Street. Graham House represents an approximate £20m investment and has been recommended for approval at Tuesday's meeting, despite objections received from HED (Historic Environment

Division (HED), Belfast Civic Trust and Royal Mail, who operate in an adjacent property.

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