Northern Ireland news

Belfast centre buildings to be razed for £400m development on former Royal Exchange site

What the newly re-developed North Street will look like

THREE buildings in the heart of Belfast will be razed to make way for a £400m regeneration project.

Belfast City Council's planning committee approved plans, without discussion, last night.

Structures on 53-63 Royal Avenue and 16 Lower Garfield Street will disappear and be replaced with the urban development, previously known as the Royal Exchange project.

Developers Castlebrooke Investments said almost 6,000 permanent jobs are set to be created by the new office, retail and leisure space.

Carried out in phases, the construction of the development will include: two hotels, the reintegration and refurbishment of seven listed buildings, three new public realm spaces and a 22-storey tower block.

It covers 12 acres of land in the North East Quarter of the city centre bound by Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, North Street, Lower Garfield Street and High Street.

Construction for the proposed scheme is estimated to be in the region of £250m, with the total investment reported to be close to £400m.

Concerns were previously raised by several councillors and campaign groups, such as Save Cathedral Quarter, primarily regarding the potential negative impact on heritage, arts and smaller businesses.

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