Developer withdraws application for £23m Belfast aparthotel over wastewater issues

APPLICATION: A digitally rendered impression of the proposed aparthotel development on Apollo Road, south Belfast.
Ryan McAleer

ONE of the north’s biggest property investment groups has pulled an application to build a £23 million aparthotel in south Belfast, but the project may not be dead in the water just yet.

The Kilmona Group, headed by Belfast businessman Paddy Kearney, had sought planning permission for an 87-bedroom project on Apollo Road close to Windsor Park.

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

But planning officials in Belfast have concluded that the area lacks the necessary waste water infrastructure to allow the development to proceed.

NI Water warned in January that almost half of the north’s larger treatment plants will reach full capacity by 2027.

The company said it needs £2.5 billion to address capacity issues in Northern Ireland to avoid impacts on service delivery, the local economy and the environment.

Kilmona responded to concerns from NI Water and planning officials by suggesting it could develop its own waste water treatment plant as a proposed solution for the aparthotel project.

But officials said there was insufficient information to demonstrate that the proposed treatment plant represents either a suitable or feasible solution. They also said it would require significant alterations to the proposed design and layout of the scheme.

They said the applicant would need to withdraw the application and resubmit a new version with the waste water aspect.

NI Water officials had been due to attend Tuesday’s meeting of Belfast City Council’s planning committee.

In an email to planning officials last week, Kilmona’s architects confirmed the group had opted to pull the application.

Kilmona has successfully secured planning permission for a smaller 25-bed aparthotel project at Musgrave Industrial Estate, next to the M1 motorway. That £18m development, given the green light in June, will be primarily made up of 88 apartments.

The group already owns a number of hotels around the north as part of its Loughview Leisure subsidiary.

The portfolio includes the Ten Square hotel in Belfast city centre. It’s understood the group had planned to expand the Ten Square brand for the new aparthotels.

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