Posted on Wednesday 15 August 2018 by Ulster Business

Waterside 1

The first stage of a £400m Belfast waterside regeneration scheme has been given the go ahead.

The Belfast Waterside project will see the former Sirocco site close to Short Strand transformed into a mixed-use development including office space, apartments and retail.

The first £50m phase, which will include office space, was approved by Belfast City Council’s planning committee.

Jim Osborne, chief operating officer for Vanguard Real Estate, which owns the site, said the "decision reflects months of hard work undertaken by the Belfast City Council planning department, and illustrates that the city is ready and open for doing business on a global scale. I’d like to thank the entire Belfast City Council team for ensuring this decision could be taken quickly by the planning committee, to enable development".

"The offices approved by committee will help the city achieve its long term ambitions to attract new jobs from global companies who are choosing to invest in Belfast because of its talent, quality of life, and will support its growing prosperity. This scheme alone will provide approximately 2,500 jobs when complete – but it is only the beginning of our comprehensive vision for Belfast Waterside, which will deliver a mix of office space, city centre homes, a hotel, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, and high quality public spaces.”

Michael Gordon, head of Turley in Northern Ireland, said:

"This decision by Belfast City Council is a real boost for the city. The Vanguard team has an exciting vision for this part of Belfast which fully supports the city’s strategic ambitions and we’re delighted to be part of it. We’re looking forward to working with the planning department to secure further planning permissions to deliver a new place in Belfast with much needed city centre offices, homes, a hotel and quality public spaces.”

And AECOM director Trevor Leaker, said the decision “marks an important milestone for Belfast Waterside, which will be a huge catalyst for growth in the city".

"We have been involved with this significant scheme since its inception and we look forward to supporting its progress."

Simon Brien said the “approval of the first landmark office building at Belfast Waterside is only the beginning of what will be a new quarter of Belfast”.

Stuart Draffin, head of agency at Lambert Smith Hampton in Belfast, said: “The Vanguard team have a proven global track record in delivering challenging large scale tailored property solutions on time and within budget for a wide range of occupiers. We are delighted to be working with the Vanguard team to secure occupiers for Belfast Waterside."

Speaking about the ambition for the site to reconnect the city, Jacob Kurek, partner at Henning Larsen, said:

"We are going to create the framework for people to feel part of a shared public life by the River Lagan making it attractive to stay in the city.

"The River Lagan will no longer create a barrier in Belfast but is going to connect it instead."



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