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Developer gets official green light for major high rise apartment scheme in east Belfast

How the new apartment scheme will look from the city centre side of the Lagan.
Ryan McAleer

PLANNING permission has been granted for a £14 million development that will see 178 apartments built close to the River Lagan just east of Belfast city centre.

Developer Patrick Kearney's company Kilmona Property's 17 storey project is expected to top out at just over 54 metres, making it one of the tallest residential towers in the city and on the island of Ireland.

The site on Dalton Street, bordered by Middlepath Street and Bridge End, is located next to the site for the 19-storey build-to-rent tower ‘The Residence', approved by Belfast City Council in November 2020.

Containing 151 apartments, that scheme is just slightly taller at 55 metres.

Part of Kilmona's site on Dalton Street is currently occupied by Lagan Search and Rescue.

City council officials originally recommended approving the scheme just under two years ago. But the planning certificate needed to proceed with the project was only issued on Wednesday.

It now gives the developer the green light to demolish the existing buildings to make way for the major apartment scheme.

It comes 12 years after permission was originally granted to a similar apartment development on the site.

The latest version is split into four interconnected blocks. The tallest block will reach 17 storeys, stepping down to two 10 storey blocks. The smallest block will reach just five storeys.

Kilmona Property has said the accommodation will be a mix of one to three bed apartments ranging from 441 sq ft to 1,011 sq ft.

Around 10,000 sq ft of amenity space will be included on the fifth floor. The developer has previously indicated this will be a garden.

A gym and three retail units are also included in the plans.

The apartments will be built right up against the railway line between the Lanyon and Titanic Quarter train stations and overlook the recently built Sandford apartments.

The site also overlooks the former Sirocco site which has been earmarked for the £450m Belfast Waterside development, which will feature a mix of offices, apartments and hotel accommodation.

The Housing Executive originally requested that 20 per cent of the Kilmona building (around 35 two-bed apartments) be allocated for social and/or shared ownership housing.

Officials responded stating the scheme was private only adding: “There is no current policy requirement for the developer to provide social housing.”

Belfast City Council's draft document fora its next planning strategy indicates that the 20 per cent requirement for affordable housing will become policy in future in developments with more than five units on sites larger than a quarter of an acre.

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