Smithfield Market office development and Belfast apartment schemes recommended for approval

A digitally rendered impression of Ashmour and Bywater's 'Smithfield Yard' proposal in Belfast.
Ryan McAleer

A BID to develop a multi-million-pound office and retail scheme next to Belfast’s Smithfield Market has taken a significant step forwards, with two major planning applications backed by city council planning officials.

The scheme is among a number of major construction projects that will be considered by Belfast City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Hotel group Andras House’s bid for a 13 storey aparthotel on Bedford Street and two large apartment schemes will also be under consideration, with officials recommending planning approval.

They include a £25m build-to-rent scheme close to the Odyssey complex, which would see 151 apartments built overlooking the M3 Lagan Bridge, and a 10 storey project for 85 serviced apartments on the Dublin Road.

How the new Andras House aparthotel scheme would look on Bedford Street.

Meanwhile Ashmour and Bywater have described their Smithfield proposal as a “mixed-use campus” designed to “appeal to today’s workforce”.

Nicknamed ‘Smithfield Yard’, it would see three new buildings surround the same yard on the existing park between North Street and Gresham Street.

The buildings are mainly made up of grade A offices, built over ground level space designed for retail and hospitality businesses.

The developer has indicated it will press ahead with the project, which is located near the controversial Tribeca site, despite the uncertainty over the future demand for office space post-covid.

The three new buildings range from three to nine storeys. Two applications pertaining to the largest part of the project will go before Belfast City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

A report prepared ahead of that meeting contains the recommendation from officials that both be approved.

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