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.
News Image
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)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 December 2001
Dodds announces £4 million housing scheme
The Minister for Social Development Nigel Dodds has unveiled a £4 million housing development which will provide 40 new homes for the people of the New Lodge area in north Belfast.
25 April 2002
Housing waiting lists longest in West Belfast
People waiting for housing accommodation in west Belfast have to wait far longer than in any other part of the city according to a new report. A new report published by the NI Housing Executive on April 24, is the first of its kind for west Belfast and sets out the facts on housing and related issues in the west of the City.
05 June 2013
£5m Housing Opened In North Belfast
A new £5m social housing scheme in has been opened in north Belfast. The opening of the 40, two-bedroom apartments follows the development of Brookfield Mill, a former linen mill. The five-story accommodation was provided by Flax Housing Association with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.
14 December 2009
Brewery To Become New Homes
A new £25m housing scheme has been approved for the old Bass Brewery in west Belfast. Some 166 new homes will be built in what is being billed as one of the largest social housing schemes undertaken in Northern Ireland. It will also create much needed employment - with some 200 on-site jobs boosting the beleaguered construction industry.
22 January 2013
Heavy Snow Closes Over 80 Schools
Over 80 schools across Northern Ireland have been closed as the heavy snow continues to cause disruption on Tuesday morning. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning, as the snow is continuing to affect many roads. Areas which have been majorly disrupted include Lisburn, Castlereagh and Carryduff.
07 May 2015
Police Use Of Tasers Was 'Lawful' And 'Necessary' - Report
Ten incidents in which police fired Tasers between July 2012 and June last year were "justified", a Police Ombudsman report has concluded. Dr Michael Maguire found that the use of Taser had on each occasion been lawful, proportionate and necessary given the risks faced by officers and the danger posed to members of the public.
17 December 2014
Flight Diverted After Engine Fire
A Flybe flight from Glasgow to George Best Belfast City Airport was diverted to Belfast International after one of its engines caught fire. An emergency was declared at the airport as the plane was diverted, with fire crews and ambulances sent to the runway. It is understood that the plane was able to land.
22 April 2008
Tunnel Breakthrough For Belfast Sewers Project
Nearly a mile long and 40 metres below ground, a key section of Belfast's deepest tunnel was completed yesterday as the tunnel boring machine (TBM) made its breakthrough at Duncrue Street. Capable of holding vast overflows of stormwater - up to four million gallons - it will reduce the risk of sewer flooding in the greater Belfast area.
26 July 2002
Attwood warns of 'threat' from west Belfast UDA
SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood has warned that the west Belfast battalion of the UDA has extended its influence and control to other parts of Belfast. Mr Attwood was speaking following the recent violence in north Belfast were Catholic teenager Gerard Lawlor was murdered by the UFF – a militant wing of the UDA.
06 August 2015
Crumlin Social Housing Scheme Opened
A new social housing scheme of three and four bedroom houses has been officially opened in Crumlin. The fourteen new homes for families on the social housing waiting list, is owned and managed by Habinteg Housing Association who funded the build, with support from the Department for Social Development.
27 November 2001
Two North Belfast areas receive £16.5m housing boost
The Minister for Social Development, Nigel Dodds, has announced the investment of £16.5m in the Gainsborough and Mountcollyer areas as part of the process of rebuilding North Belfast.
11 September 2012
First Time Buyer Numbers On The Up
First-time buyers in Northern Ireland are taking advantage of falling house prices, new figures suggest. A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that the proportion of first-time buyers in the housing market is at its largest since 2001.
03 April 2008
East Belfast Set For £20m Development
A major regeneration project in east Belfast - expected to cost £20m overall - is set to involve a state-of-art facility which will house the long established East Belfast Mission's existing services such as its homeless hostel, employment programs, social and economic projects and elderly services.
14 January 2019
Pair Charged Over Newtownabbey Burglary
Two people have been arrested and charged by police investigating an aggravated burglary in County Antrim. A 25-year-old man was assaulted by two males and a female who forced their way into his flat in Burneys Mews, Newtownabbey at around 7.30pm on Friday 11 January.
08 January 2019
Belfast Hit By 10 Drug-Related Deaths In December
The last month has seen 10 suspected drug-related deaths in the greater Belfast area, sparking concern across the community. PSNI Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said while the cause of death is not definitively known, the use of illicit or prescription drugs may have been a factor.