Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room, City Hall

Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer  028 9032 0202 ext 6077

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were received from Councillors Carson, Canavan, Murphy, McMullan, McKeown and O’Hara.



Declarations of Interest


            Alderman McCoubrey advised the Committee that, in relation to item 2, namely LA04/2019/0683/F - Demolition of existing industrial warehouse buildings and erection of warehouse distribution facility on Lands at Kings Works, Channel Commercial Park, Queens Road Titanic Quarter, he was on the Belfast Harbour Commissioners Board but that he had sought legal advice and it had been confirmed that there was no conflict of interest in relation to the application.



(Reconsidered item) LA04/2019/0683/F - Demolition of existing industrial warehouse buildings and erection of warehouse distribution facility, associated ancillary office, van storage, yards, car parking and accesses on Lands at Kings Works, Channel Commercial Park, Queens Road Titanic Quarter pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Additional documents:


            The Divisional Solicitor advised the Committee that, as there was not a quorum of Members present who had also been in attendance for the initial presentation of the application at the meeting on 12th November, the Committee could either suspend paragraph 21 of the Committee’s Operating Protocol, namely, that “Members must be present for the entire item, including the officer’s introduction and update; otherwise they cannot take part in the debate or vote on that item” or, given that all speakers were present, that the Case officer could present the application to the Committee in its totality, in order that a determination could be made.


            The Committee agreed that the Case officer should present the entire application again in order that a decision could be made on the application.


            The Case officer provided the Committee with the key aspects of the application at Kings Works.


            He outlined the key issues which had been considered in the assessment of the proposed development, including the acceptability of a storage and distribution facility on the site, scale, massing and design, the impact on built and archaeological heritage, contaminated land, flooding and traffic and parking.


            He advised the Committee that the site was located within an established industrial area within the wider Titanic Quarter, which formed part of the mixed use Titanic Quarter zoning.  He explained that the proposed storage and distribution use was appropriate to the area.  He highlighted to the Members that the main distribution building was smaller than the existing industrial building on the site by approximately 3,000m2 and was 1metre lower in height and would therefore have no greater impact on the setting of nearby listed structures and monuments.


            The Committee was advised that, given the scale of the existing building on the site and its potential to accommodate an industrial use, together with consideration of the applicant’s Transport Assessment, it was considered that, on balance, there would not be detrimental impact on the existing road infrastructure.


            The Case officer outlined that DAERA, DFI Roads, Rivers Agency, NI Water and the Health and Safety Executive had offered no objection to the proposals.  He explained that a response was still outstanding from the Belfast Harbour Commissioners.  He advised the Members that, as detailed in the Late Items pack, Environmental Health had responded with a number of conditions.  He explained that, in the event of an approval, the conditions would be added to the decision notice.  He advised that no third party objections had been received.       


            He reminded the Committee that consideration of the application had been deferred at its meeting on Tuesday, 12th November, in order to allow further information to be circulated to Members, specifically the response from RPS to the Department for Infrastructure’s (DfI) Consultation response, dated 27th September 2019.  The Members noted that the information had since been circulated and was in front of the Committee for its consideration in conjunction with the original case officer’s report.  He explained that the recommendation remained as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Presentation - NIHE


            The Chairperson welcomed Mr. C. Bailie, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), and Mr. R. Hawe, Belfast City Centre Projects Manager, NIHE, to the meeting.


            Mr. Hawe advised the Committee that, over the last few years, through the work on the Belfast Agenda and the Local Development Plan (LDP), the NIHE had strengthened its working relationship with the Council and particularly with the Planning Department.


            He outlined that the main roles of the NIHE were to assess the housing need and demand across Northern Ireland, provide its customers with good quality and affordable homes and to act as a Statutory Consultee for Local Development Plans (LDPs) and for residential planning applications.


            The Members were apprised of the strategic context within which the NIHE worked.  He explained that there 11,000 households on the housing waiting list, 8,000 of which were classified as “in urgent need”.  The Committee was advised that, last year, the NIHE had delivered 386 additional social homes in Belfast but that this number needed to increase.  Mr. Hawe pointed out that housing associations struggled to secure sites to deliver social housing and that it was therefore important to look at new and innovative ways of meeting the social need.


            The Committee was informed that existing social housing tended to be largely segregated, unlike other forms of housing tenure, and that the Housing Executive firmly believed that social housing should be integrated with all other tenures, as it facilitated choice, widened housing options, increased community cohesion and created sustainable neighbourhoods. 


            Mr. Hawe advised the Members that delivering additional social and affordable housing would contribute towards the aims of the Belfast Agenda, such as increasing the City’s population by 66,000 and allocate land for 31,000 new homes by 2035.  He emphasised to the Committee that the NIHE hoped that the new residential developments coming forward within the City would include social and affordable housing to help promote balanced and sustainable communities.


            He reported that there was some confusion as to what constituted affordable housing.  He explained that the SPPS defined affordable housing as the social rented sector and intermediate housing, such as co-ownership, but that the definition was currently under consultation by the Department for Communities.


            The Committee was advised that applicants for social housing currently selected two Common Landlord Areas (CLAs) to indicate where they would like to be housed, with Belfast being divided into 122 CLAs.  Mr. Hawe advised that allocations from the waiting list were made to newly built developments as well as through the re-letting of existing stock.  He outlined that, annually, 2,000 allocations were made and, unfortunately, that left a large shortfall of unmet need.


            The Chief Executive of the NIHE explained that good community planning, integrated thinking and future proofing were crucial in tackling the housing waiting list.  He explained that a fundamental review of the housing selection scheme had taken place two years ago but that it was awaiting Ministerial sign-off.  He emphasised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


NIHE's current approach to consultations on planning applications and pre-application discussions


NIHE's assessment of need and justification of affordable housing requirements in relation to new development proposals


Future planning policy considerations including the Belfast Local Development Plan