Northern Ireland

Developers drop low-cost 'pop-up' studio flats plan

A developer has abandoned a high profile plan to build 48 studio apartments in Belfast city centre.

Village Homes (NI) is instead planning to build 36 conventional one-bedroom flats.

The Never Monday project was an attempt to market high specification bedsits to young professionals.

The revised planning application said the amendments "reflect a market preference for one bedroom units."

At the time the project was launched the developers created a 'pop-up' version of one of the studios and said they would test the market before deciding how to proceed.

Warehouse

Village Homes (NI), which is controlled by Alan Fraser, is planning other apartment developments in the city centre.

It proposes demolishing the former Nambarrie tea warehouse on Waring Street and building 56 apartments in an eight storey block.

The other project is for 75 apartments at Queen's Square on the site of an office building.

A large number of apartments were built in central Belfast during the property bubble.

In 2007, the average price of an apartment in Belfast topped £213,000.

Prices have been on a steady downward trajectory over the past five years.

In some cases buyers who signed contracts to buy apartments 'off-plan' were then unable to secure finance, which has lead to a succession of court cases as developers seek to enforce the deal.

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