Planning permission has been granted for a 413 bedroom student accommodation development in Belfast city centre, it has been announced. The rooms will be installed in the former historic Tech building, now known as John Bell House in College Square East.
The development, worth £16 million, is due to be completed in time for the start of the 2016 academic year and is the result of a joint venture proposal by Watkin Jones & Sons and Lacuna Developments. The construction phase of the project will be handled by Newry based O’ Hare and McGovern. Managing director of O’ Hare and McGovern, Eamon O’ Hare, said:
"This is a magnificent landmark building which is going to be completely revitalised to provide upmarket student accommodation. It's an exciting project which will be great for Belfast."
The announcement follows that of a similar development in Birmingham. Newly approved plans will see the demolition of an old oil factory in the Gun Quarter of the UK’s second biggest city, to make way for a 534 bedroom student accommodation development which will also include a convenience store and a gym. Consequently, the four storey Charterhouse on the corner of Bagot Street and Legge Street will be replaced with a new building of up to 10 storeys, according to reports.
Similar student accommodation projects have already been completed in this area of the city, leading to Gun Quarter becoming known as the student hub of Birmingham.
London based Knightsbridge Student Housing are funding the project, having also completed several other student accommodation complexes Birmingham. The project is not due to open until beginning of the academic year 2017.
This most recent announcement furthers Knightsbridge Student Accommodations’ stated aim of providing “high quality, service-led student accommodation in specifically targeted locations across the UK and Europe, with a target to acquire £1billion in assets”.