Belfast City Hall
Venue: Banqueting Hall
Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer 028 9032 0202 ext 6077
No apologies were reported.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were recorded.
Pre Determination Hearing for Application LA04/2017/2341/O - Lands bounded by Royal Avenue, York Street, Church Street, North Street, Rosemary Street, High Street and Donegall Street (former Royal Exchange) PDF 4 MB
The Chairperson welcomed the Members to the Pre-Determination Hearing for the application. He explained that a Pre-Determination Hearing was to hear the views of interested parties and statutory consultees, and for Members of the Committee to seek clarification from these parties on the facts surrounding the development.
He reminded the Members that the objective of the meeting was to focus on the material planning considerations and to facilitate the Committee in making its determination of the application. The Committee was reminded that no decision may be reached at the Hearing, as Committee Members and planners might wish to consider the views made prior to making a determination at the scheduled Committee meeting which was likely to be in January, 2020.
The Senior Planning Officer provided the Committee with a detailed overview of the outline application for a mixed-use scheme comprising offices, 367 residential units, restaurants/cafes, a hotel, retail units on the ground floor and cultural and community space. She reported that the proposal also sought to reconfigure Writer’s Square, to pedestrianise North Street, the creation of new public squares (“Central Square” and “Assembly Square” at the junction of North Street and Rosemary Street) and the creation of new pedestrian links between North Street and Donegall Street.
She advised the Members that the currently approved scheme for the site, which had been granted permission in 2012, hereafter known as the extant scheme, was for a larger site than the current proposals. She highlighted to the Committee that the extant scheme was an important material consideration in the determination of the current application and was given significant weight as it was capable of being implemented.
The Members were advised that the application was first received in October 2017 and, at that time, included a 27 storey tower at the junction of Rosemary Street and North Street, the redevelopment of a large retail anchor store to replace North Street Arcade (where the end blocks would be retained), approximately 247 residential units, offices, hotels and 850 basement car parking spaces. The Senior Planning officer reported that, following feedback received during the consultation process and advice from officers on those proposals, the applicant significantly revised the scheme. She explained that, through over 12 months of intensive dialogue with planning officers, the applicant submitted the revised scheme in August 2019.
In addition to other changes, the proposed 27 storey tower and the large anchor retail store were no longer proposed and the revised scheme proposed the replacement of the North Street Arcade with a new arcade influenced by the original arcade’s alignment, with retention and restoration of its external facades on North Street and Donegall Street. The Planning officer added that the level of demolition in the proposals had also been reduced.
She explained that the basement and the multi-storey car parks were no longer proposed and that the only on-site parking which would be provided were 25 disabled spaces and 6 spaces for car club vehicles. The applicant had advised that the reduction in ... view the full minutes text for item 3.