24/05/2018

Judge Rules Against Decision For £55m Belfast Tower Block

A High Court judge has ruled against a planning decision to build a new £55 million office block in the Markets area of Belfast.

Residents and campaigners had longed campaigned against the decision by Belfast City Council, which involved developing 26,000 square metres of offices within a 14-storey tower in the historic Market quarter.
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Welcoming the judge's decision, Sinn Féin's South Belfast MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who was in court with residents and party housing spokesperson Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, said: "This is a landmark decision and a victory to those who believe in a shared, inclusive  and prosperous Belfast.

"The Market Community are not prepared for their community to be treated as second class by developers.

"This verdict makes clear that it is not good enough for Belfast City Council to grant planning permission for a tower block bigger than the Europa on a site zoned for social housing.

"It's important that the Housing Executive and the Department of Communities also take heed of today's judgement.

"All these bodies must become strong advocates of social housing especially when land has been zoned for that purpose rather than attempting to simply meet the needs of developers."

(LM/MH)

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