Belfast City Council has granted planning permission for the development of two more hotels in the city centre. This brings to six the number of such applications to be approved by the Council in the last nine months.

The two developments given the green light are a 179-bedroom new build hotel in Hope Street, and the extension of the Ten Square Hotel on the corner of Linenhall Street and Donegall Square South, to create an additional 46 rooms.

The proposals were given approved at a meeting of the Planning Committee. The Chair, Councillor Matt Garrett, said that this was another positive example of the benefits of planning powers having been transferred to local authorities earlier this year.

“The fact that we have been able to grant planning permission for six major new hotels in nine months is a clear demonstration of how this Council is committed to working for the benefit of the city, and to ensuring that proposals such as these are moved forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The other hotels to have been granted planning permission in recent months are at the former Harland and Wolff headquarters building in Titanic Quarter, the ‘Grand Central’ in the former Windsor House in Bedford Street, the former Belfast Metropolitan College campus in Brunswick Street, and the conversion of a former office complex in Victoria Street. This represents a total of almost 700 new bedrooms.

Approval also was given to two new purpose-built managed student accommodation developments adjacent to each other on York Street and Great Patrick Street. The two developments will offer accommodation for around 1,100 students.  However, permission for two other such developments, in the Carrick Hill area, were refused. These were among a total of 128 decisions made at tonight’s meeting.

“When planning powers transferred to the Council in April, we inherited a legacy of more than 700 outstanding applications,” commented Councillor Garrett. Since then, we have issued around 100 decisions a month, which shows the commitment of both Planning Service officials and Committee members in terms of not only clearing this backlog of legacy applications but also in processing new applications.”