Waterside scheme
9 August 2018

£400m Waterside scheme expected to get green light


Planners at Belfast City Council are expected to give the go ahead to the first stage of a £400m regeneration scheme on the site of the former Sirocco Works.

The application, the first in a series linked to the overall scheme, will go before Belfast City Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, with a recommendation for approval from officials.

The plans have been submitted by Vanguard Real Estate, the development arm of Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd, a joint venture between the Corbally Group, Graftongate and Gulf Resources Development and Investment (GRDI).

The first phase is expected to receive full approval on Tuesday evening, with work starting on the site by the end of the year.

The initial phase of the development will see the creation of 250,000 sq ft of grade A office space, including a 13-storey office tower near the Short Strand.

Alongside the 13-storey building, the initial stage involves the construction of a mezzanine cafe/bar/restaurant and retail unit on the ground floor, as well as a lobby, basement, deck parking and public realm works.

Designed by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen, the initial phase of the project is expected to cost £50m.

The completed project is expected to feature residential accommodation, an apartment hotel, as well as office and retail space

The scheme is also intended to include a social housing aspect and a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the River Lagan, linking in with Bridge End, with temporary pedestrian/cycle access to the riverfront and access arrangements to Short Strand.

The planning officer’s report indicates that the application resulted in just a single letter of objection, regarding parking plans and the potential impact on cycling.

The 31-page document ultimately concludes: “Having regard to the development plan, relevant planning policies and other material considerations, it is determined that the development will not cause demonstrable harm to the interests of acknowledged importance.”

Chris Kane, who chairs Vanguard Real Estate, said the plan was to complete the overall project by 2023.

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