Proposal To Demolish Belfast's Former Park Avenue Hotel Approved
A proposal to demolish Belfast's former Park Avenue Hotel, which closed down last summer, to make way for a housing scheme has been approved. The news follows last week’s news that Belfast City Cou...
A proposal to demolish Belfast's former Park Avenue Hotel, which closed down last summer, to make way for a housing scheme has been approved.
As reported by The Belfast Telegraph, elected representatives at Belfast City Council's planning committee approved the demolition of the former hotel for a "social-led" development that will comprise 75 apartments, 11 townhouses and 4 apartments, along Sefton Drive.
The proposal reportedly involves hard and soft landscaping including communal gardens, provision of car parking spaces, a "tenant and staff hub", cycle parking, a substation, retaining walls, and associated works including road improvement works at the junction of Park Avenue and Sefton Drive, and the development will reportedly reach a maximum height of four storeys.
Holywood Holdings Ltd and the Housing Association company Choice Housing made the joint application, which was recommended by council officers.
The council report on the application, which was reportedly made by Holywood Holdings Ltd and the Housing Association company Choice Housing, reportedly states, "There is social housing need in this housing need area, middle east Belfast, which includes the Sydenham, Edenvale, Inverary, Dundela and Ashmount common landlord areas. In March 2020 there were 934 applicants for social housing, of which 522 were in housing stress.
"126 had been allocated units up to March 2020, while the projected five-year housing need was 258 units. These factors support the case for the granting of planning permission in the principle subject to acceptable detail issues."
22 trees will reportedly be removed, with approximately 70 replacement trees reportedly being provided, with further shrub and amenity planting reportedly also included, and there are reportedly a number of mature trees on the site that will remain because they are subject to a tree preservation order
The report reportedly states, "The majority of existing visually significant trees along the Holywood Road site frontage, and a significant tree internally within the site, will be retained. The replacement planting and need for social housing are considered to outweigh the trees to be removed and objections from the tree officer."
The council reportedly received 75 objections to the proposal from the public, reportedly detailing an assortment of issues including over-development of the site, increased anti-social behaviour, reduced local employment, noise, privacy, loss of light, dust, and general disturbance, but no statutory bodies reportedly made any objections.
The council officer reportedly wrote, "The NI Housing Executive response indicates a need for social and affordable housing within east Belfast.
"Anti-social behaviour is an issue for the operator of the site and the PSNI. There is no determining evidence provided that indicates the proposal would result in antisocial behaviour to the degree that it would be unacceptable in planning terms.
"Any subsidence or structural damage as a result of the development site is a civil matter between the relevant parties. It is the responsibility of the developer and other agencies to ensure that development works are completed in a safe and appropriate manner."
The report reportedly, "There is no policy requirement for commercial/non-residential uses to be retained or continued at this site."
There was reportedly no dissent from any elected members on the proposition to approve the application.
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