Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council gives go-ahead for student housing schemes

The Athletic Stores scheme will involve retaining the building's façade and demolishing and rebuilding behind it
Image caption The Athletic Stores scheme will involve retaining the building's façade and demolishing and rebuilding behind it

Belfast City Council has given planning permission to a further two student housing schemes in the city.

They are a 317-unit development in the Athletic Stores building on Queen Street and an 11-storey, 380-unit development on Little Patrick Street.

The Athletic Stores scheme will involve retaining the building's facade and demolishing and rebuilding behind it.

The Ulster Architectural and Heritage Society had objected to the scheme.

It said a facade retention approach should only be used as a "last resort".

However, the planners said that "on balance" the approach was appropriate and would not cause harm to the area's overall character or appearance.

The council planning committee concurred with the planners' recommendation.

A series of major student schemes, mainly close to Ulster University's Belfast campus, have been given planning consent in recent months.

The Athletic Stores scheme will be developed by the same companies which have almost completed a student scheme in the former Belfast Tech building on College Avenue.

The council also approved a number of office schemes including outline permission for a four storey building at the Weavers Court business park.

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