Northern Ireland news

George Best hotel due to be surveyed after chunks of brick fall off building

Chunks of brick fell from the derelict George Best Hotel site in Belfast city centre yesterday

THE derelict George Best Hotel site in Belfast city centre is expected to undergo a survey to assess its state after chunks of brick fell from the building onto the street.

Lumps of red brick were found close to the listed building at the corner of Bedford Street and Donegall Square.

One large piece of masonry fell off the building in the early hours of Tuesday.

Police have cordoned off the area around the site.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: "Pedestrians are advised to exercise caution if they are in the area."

The hotel went into administration in April 2020 without ever opening.

Concerns about the state of the building were raised as far back as August 2020.

A spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said: "Our building control team have been at the site since early morning and are assessing the site, under our dangerous structures legislation.

"We are working with police and the owner to have the building made safe."

SDLP councillor Gary McKeown said he had previously raised concerns about the state of the building.

"It's a listed building and requires care to keep it in a fit state," he said.

"It's a landmark building in a perfect spot in the city centre."

He said he had contacted building control in Belfast City Council about the issue.

Mr McKeown said Kroll, the business advisory firm appointed as administrators, will be required to carry out a survey of the building to "ensure there is no risk to people".

Kroll has been contacted for comment.

Last week a High Court judge granted an order for sale of the building to administrators appointed to the failed project.

The boutique hotel was due to have a restaurant and bars, a function room, bridal suite and bedrooms over several floors.

The court's ruling means that investors in bedrooms are to lose up to £4m.

Chunks of brick fell from the derelict George Best Hotel site in Belfast city centre yesterday

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