The owner of the listed building ravaged by fire in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter last year, has secured planning permission to restore the Donegall Street structure.
Belfast City Council has given Killycrot Estates the green light to replace the roof and windows of the Old Cathedral Building, just over a year after it was gutted in an overnight blaze.
Built across 1901 and 1902, the four-story building on Donegall Street includes ground floor retail and hospitality units, with the upper floors, used for office space prior to the fire.
The blaze forced all tenants and businesses to relocate, with the estimated total cost put in the region of around £3 million.
A 20-year-old man is due to stand trial accused of starting the fire in the early hours of October 3 2022.
Steps were initially taken to secure the building from potential collapse.
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The next phase will involve bringing the Old Cathedral Building back to life.
A report detailing Killycrot Estates’ plans indicates its new roof will feature Westmoreland slate to the front and a Bangor blue to the rear to match the existing slates.
Both chimney stacks will be partially deconstructed to remove the brown brick work and replaced with a salvaged Belfast brick to match the bottom section of the stacks and the front elevation.
The work will also involve stone repairs and cleaning the listed building’s red brick façade.
Permission has also been granted for a full interior refurbishment of the building, which will involve the internal building being stripped back to its shell.
The internal floor structures will be replaced, but the central staircase will be repaired and restored.
The Department for the Communities’ Historic Environment Division has said it is content with the proposals, subject to some conditions around stone repairs and cleaning, as well as the removal of existing plaster.
Killycrot Estates is owned by the Cahoon family. The directors include Alan Cahoon, who opened the Curated Kitchen restaurant in the Old Cathedral Building in 2018.
The premises were later taken over by Neighbourhood, which relocated to nearby Commercial Court following last year’s fire.
According to Companies House, Killycrot Estates’ investment property was valued last year at around £9.4m, with shareholder funds of £5.78m.