Posted on Wednesday 8 August 2018 by John Mulgrew

Siro 1

The first phase of a major £400m Belfast waterside regeneration scheme is expected to get the green light next week, Ulster Business can reveal.

Belfast Waterside will see the former Sirocco Works redeveloped into a mixed-use scheme including apartments, office space and retail.

The first phase of the development, costing £50m, will see the creation 250,000 sq ft of grade A office space at the site, which is based close to the Short Strand. That will include a 13-storey building.

The plans were submitted by Vanguard Real Estate, the development arm of Swinford (Sirocco) Ltd.

Now, Belfast City Council planners have recommended that the first phase of the redevelopment is given the go-ahead.

Planners said that “having regard to the development plan, relevant planning policies, and other material considerations, it is determined that the proposal represents acceptable sustainable development. Approval is therefore recommended”.

It’s due to go before Belfast City Council’s planning committee meeting next week.

Speaking to Ulster Business earlier this year about the plans, Chris Kane, chairman of Vanguard Real Estate, said:

The first phase includes 250,000 sq ft of office space, followed by the creation of one, two

“Phase 1 is 250,000 sq ft office building and some housing - 700 sq m of hive building for content creation. Overall, it's a £400m project.

“It's a biggie. It looks like Belfast has a shortage of grade A office space.

“We want to put a spade in the ground this year, and complete by 2023. We have significant confidence in Northern Ireland. If everyone can row in together, the city has huge advantage and will be hugely attractive to inward investment.

“With phase 2, we are going to get the design, the bridge finished, work with public bodies on how best to do that, working on public realm.

“We have a good fortune to be well financed. The site was purchased for cash, so there is no debt on the site.”

Previous plans for the waterside development included 5,000 apartments, a hotel, an international convention centre, a supermarket, leisure facilities and other retail sites.

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