Planning officials signal approval for £30m Belfast apartment developments

A digitally rendered impression of the Kilmona project next to the M1.
Ryan McAleer

TWO major apartment developments look set to go ahead in south Belfast, potentially triggering £30 million of investment.

Ballymena-based developer Galgorm Properties has secured planning approval for 79 apartments on the Lisburn Road. The project, on the site of a former Kwik Fit garage, also includes 9,000 sq ft of retail space over six units and a 6,950 sq ft gym.

And just one mile away, Belfast developer Paddy Kearney’s Kilmona Group looks set to secure permission to build 88 apartments next to the M1 at Musgrave Industrial Estate.

The £18m project, which has been recommended for approval by Belfast City Council officials, also includes a 25-bedroom aparthotel.

It’s one of two major investments planned by the group in south Belfast.

A second 87-bedroom aparthotel next to Windsor Park has been held up due a lack of wastewater treatment infrastructure.

Centred on the Adelaide Business Centre, next to the Hovis factory, the proposed project also provides for 26 serviced apartments, 14 business studios and 10 live/work studios.

NI Water has previously said it needs £2.5bn to hold off a wastewater crisis in infrastructure, claiming 99 treatment works are bursting at the seams. It has said Belfast alone may need up to £1bn to support future building development.

Mr Kearney’s Loughview Leisure Group includes the Ten Square hotel in Belfast city centre. It’s understood the group intends extending the Ten Square brand via the new aparthotels.

However, the smaller aparthotel looks to go ahead. Planning permission was for 96 apartment units on the site just under two years ago.

Meanwhile, Galgorm Properties has said around 50 construction jobs will be created by its apartment development on the Lisburn Road.

The site is currently home to a number of businesses. Kwik Fit has already confirmed the closure of its premises.

City planners have also signalled the go ahead for a series of environmental improvements in Belfast city centre.

Belfast City Council’s own proposals include artwork and new lighting installations in a series of alleys including Crown Entry, Wilsons Court, Joys Entry, Pottinger’s Entry, Coles Alley and Castle Arcade.

The local authority said the proposals are part of a citywide lighting strategy undertaken to improve Belfast Entries ‘to create more welcoming, vibrant and safer places’.

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