Northern Ireland

East Belfast: Sirocco Works development gets green light

Belfast Waterside development will include office space, homes, a creative hub and a hotel Image copyright Belfast City Council
Image caption Belfast Waterside development will include office space, homes, a creative hub and a hotel

A multi-million pound project to regenerate the former Sirocco Works site in east Belfast has been given the go-ahead.

The Belfast Waterside scheme will include office space, homes, a creative hub and a hotel.

The 16 acre site on the banks of the River Lagan has been derelict for a decade.

Belfast City Council's Planning Committee approved the plans on Thursday night.

Image copyright Belfast City Council
Image caption 675 homes are to be built on the site, including social housing

The developers Osborne and Co estimate the scheme will create over 8,000 jobs and provide homes for more than 1,500 people.

The company's main partner Jim Osborne said it was delighted with the decision, adding the site is currently "a scar on the centre of Belfast".

He said the redevelopment was a "unique opportunity to create something that Belfast sorely needs".

The planned 675 homes are to include up to 20% affordable housing units, including a minimum of 10% social housing.

Image copyright Beflast City Council
Image caption The development will include "new spaces for community and arts use"

A "creative cluster" building, facing onto the River Lagan, will include a public square, "reflecting the site's industrial heritage".

A replacement pedestrian bridge over the River Lagan will also be built and access to both Short Strand and Bridge End will be improved.

Councillor Arder Carson, chair of the Planning Committee, hailed the development as a "massive step forward for Belfast".

"The provision of additional high quality office space in a brand new part of the city centre will be hugely attractive to investors as Belfast continues to grow in stature internationally as a great place to do business," Cllr Carson said.

Image copyright ELEMENT VISUALIZATIONS
Image caption The first phase of the Sirocco scheme is a 250,000 sq ft office development

"I'm also pleased that this project will not only finally transform a site which has been out of use since 1999, but also provide affordable housing units, responding to housing need and ensuring it becomes a place for everyone, with the facilities required to reflect our expected growth in our population by 2035."

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