Belfast council closing probe into SDLP man's Holylands office

SDLP councillor Declan Boyle's lettings business operates from a terraced house on University Avenue in the Holylands area of south Belfast
Brendan Hughes

BELFAST City Council is to end its investigation into a councillor's Holylands office after it was granted planning permission.

The council had launched a probe after it emerged Declan Boyle's student property business was operating without planning approval from a terraced house.

The SDLP councillor is a landlord managing dozens of properties including more than 30 student lets in the Holylands.

His lettings business, Boyle Properties, operates from a house on University Avenue in the mainly student area.

Council officials were investigating as the property did not have planning permission to be used as office space.

A retrospective planning application was submitted in January just days after The Irish News contacted Mr Boyle.

The council's planning committee has now approved the application.

A council spokesman said: "The permission will regularise the unauthorised use of the land which has been the subject of an enforcement investigation.

"Once planning permission is issued the investigation will be closed."

Last year Mr Boyle faced criticism for not declaring an interest when a council committee he chaired approved a proposed £80,000 grant for the Holylands area.

At the time Mr Boyle insisted that he would not benefit from the proposed Holylands improvement scheme.

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