It looks likely that permission will be granted next week to construct a new £12 million aquarium in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.
According to The Irish Independent, 13 representations were received in relation to the planning permission application for the proposed aquarium, including 10 letters of objections. Concerns raised by objectors included possible adverse impacts on traffic in the area, the area's heritage and business at the aquarium in Portaferry, Co. Down, which is located approximately one hour from Belfast.
However, Belfast City Council planners have recommended that the development of the proposed tourist attraction is given the green light, saying that "the proposal is considered and approval of planning permission is recommended with delegated authority given to the director of planning and building control to finalise the wording of conditions subject to no new substantive planning issues being raised by third parties".
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The proposed aquarium would be situated within a two-storey building and would include a café, a coral reef tank and five main exhibition zones that would be themed as Ireland, deep ocean, Azores, Pacific and Arctic.
The firm behind the proposed aquarium, ReefLive, stated that it is "anticipated that the ReefLive Aquarium will be the largest marine-life visitor attraction on the island of Ireland, and, in bringing another international-standard attraction to the Titanic Quarter, will help to boost the length of each tourist visit to the city".
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